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  CSPAN    Public Affairs    News  News/Business.  

    November 30, 2012
    9:00 - 1:59pm EST  

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is a possibility we could come back in january and say we will reinstate those tax rates for everybody except those people making more than $250,000. host: we have about 30 seconds. the likelihood these credits will be reduced. guest: it will be a crapshoot. host: steven sloan from politico. thank you thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. cap hehn conroy: let us pray. loving and gracious god, we
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give you thanks for giving us another day. help us this day to kragh closer to you so that with your spirit and your presence among us we all must face the tasks of this day. bless the members of the people's house. help them to think clearly, speak confidently and act courageously in the belief that all noble service is based upon patience, truth and love. you know well the pressing issues facing our nation. grant our leaders, especially, the wisdom to do what is best and may we all join in the common will for the benefit of all constituencies even though this will take some sacrifice. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory. amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the journal stands approved. mr. shimkus: mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley. mr. quigley: please join us in the pledge. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to five requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the
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gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, last wednesday's newspaper, a retired foreign service officer wrote a letter with questions regarding the terrorist attack in benghazi, libya. retired foreign service officer, william boudreau, worked in the state department operations center, which serves as a direct line of communications to all american missions. based on his service, boudreau is confident that alerts from benghazi were delivered to the white house during the attack. boudreau believes the following questions must be explained -- why the delay in labeling the attack as terrorism, why did they allow ambassador stevens go to benghazi? why did they refuse request to enhance security? the american people deserve answers to these questions. i appreciate the service of marty johnson, promoting snow
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bell address on its success. those reaching out to children who suffered a loss since september 11. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? mr. kucinich: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. kucinich: america's economic collapse was fed by wall street greed in the form of a $6 trillion housing bubble. this brought large budget deficits. some at the center of the housing crash are pushing to deep cuts to social programs to cure the budget deficit. the c.e.o. of goldman sachs, who received a $10 billion direct bailout at below market interest rates have preached about decreasing social security benefits and increasing the retirement age. main street americans have lost more than 40% of their wealth
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from 2007 to 2010. nearly one in six u.s. residents is officially poor, the highest rate in 50 years. 22% of american children live in poverty. we're facing an economic situation that resembles the years leading up to the great depression. now, this prevailing budget plan calls for deep cuts, environmental protection, social security, medicare, medicaid. well, corporations and the top 1% get tax cuts of nearly $3 trillion over the next decade. this is not how you protect a democracy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the -- a president has finally given us his balanced plan to allegedly avoid the fiscal cliff. he wants to raise taxes by $1.6 trillion. he wants another stimulus package of $50 billion. he wants the authority to raise the debt ceiling without asking
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congress for approval. say it isn't so, mr. speaker. this tax hike will hurt small businesses which provide 67% of the jobs in this country. that may fund the government for a short time. then, what's the plan? stimulus 2.0. because the first stimulus worked so well? that was a disaster as well. we have a $16 trillion deficit, and the president wants to spend more money. are you kidding me? spending is the problem. we don't need more of it. lastly, he wants the power to raise the debt ceiling without congressional approval. the administration cannot issue an edict like a money monarchy. congress, congress, congress is in control of the purse. we have gone wild and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? mr. quigley: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
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mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the impact that independent locally owned businesses have in our communities comes as no surprise. the social and environmental outcomes are essential to the growth and sustainability of our neighborhoods. more than seven years ago a not-for-profit organization called local for chicago was formed with one purpose in mind -- to educate citizens, community groups and policymakers about the positive impacts of choosing locally owned businesses. it is a network of locally owned independent businesses, community organizations and citizens that's grown to more than 3,000 local business owners. studies have shown that shifting just a small percentage of our shopping dollars to locally owned businesses could keep millions in our communities. this is something to think about as the holiday season approaches. instead of going to a chain, why not branch out and get your coffee at safari cafe on south port or get a hotdog at jean and june's and buy a few holiday gift at a local shop as
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well? local businesses help thriving communities. i'm glad to have local first chicago fighting for ours. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, the time has come for congress to enact comprehensive tax reform and reduce federal spending to create jobs and boost the economy. mr. benishek: our nation is facing significant challenges. a weak economy, record deficits and a federal government we cannot afford. many northern michigan citizens fear for the future of our republic. the american people deserve solutions to these problems and comprehensive tax reform is a key part of these solutions. president obama has made it clear that his preference is to raise taxes on families and businesses, but that plan won't fix our national debt.
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it won't improve the economy. instead, congress should focus on tax reform and real significant spending reductions. the american people have chosen divided government, and with that comes a responsibility for us to work together and to fix the pro-our nation faces. i -- the problem our nation faces. i ask my colleagues to help resolve this fiscal crisis and do what's best for the american people. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. altmire: mr. speaker, many of the challenges congress will face during the ongoing negotiations over the fiscal cliff is whether or not to renew the wind production tax credit which expires at the end of this year. investing in renewable energy is creating new jobs, reducing our dependence own foreign oil and promoting economic growth. in pennsylvania, the wind industry supports 4,000 jobs
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and powers 180,000 homes, including in the pittsburgh area. the uncertainty surrounding the looming deadline to renew the p.t.c. has forced some companies to lay off employees, and if we let it expire, thousands of more hardworking americans will be out of work. two wind farm projects in western pennsylvania were already canceled this year. this is an issue where both sides can come together to do what's right for our country, letting the p.t.c. expire would damage the competitiveness of the united states and the global economy, and i urge my colleagues to extend this vital job-creating tax credit before it expires. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, back in 2007, then-candidate obama said the notion is facing, quote, a
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social security crisis. and he was right. unfortunately five years later as we deal with the looming fiscal cliff, some in the president's own party are denying the fiscal reality when it comes to social security. here are the facts -- social security is the government's most expensive program. since 2010 it's been bleeding cash, and over the next 10 years it will do so to the tune of nearly $1 trillion. as recent "usa today" editorial put it, social security is indeed contributing to our deficit. to say otherwise is to lie to the american people. mr. speaker, all americans want, need and deserve that we work together to address our fiscal challenges. we owe it to current and future beneficiaries to secure this critical safety net.
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we can make social security solvent forever. let's do it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. barrow: i rise to talk about ms. stallings. she understands that equal education -- that equal educational opportunity is equal economic opportunity and she's worked to see to it that all children, regardless of economic circumstance, receive a quality circumstances. she served as a classroom teacher, the longest serving director in the pre-k department. they named the geneva p. stallings parent one resource center. i want to thank her for the
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commitment to the education of our children. ms. stallings, you have the appreciation of many great augaans and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, on october 1, the nation of georgia successfully elected a new parliament and then underwent the first peaceful transfer of power since independence. i commend the president on his leadership in that transition. the georgian people are to be congratulated for the election. i am proud of their determination to be a modern democracy. however, the georgian dream coalition must be reminded and reinforced that the most effective way for georgia to join nato is through continued development of democracy and
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the rule of law. there have been increasing pressure on the president to resign prior to the constitutional end of his term in october of 2013. while the new majority may see this as a logical next step to finalizing the transfer of power, attempting to have them give up their position -- the prosecutor's office arrested three officers of the government charged with unspecified abuses of power. georgia's made enormous power over the past two months. progress which very few predicted would require. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from vermont seek recognition? mr. welch: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from vermont is recognized for one minute. mr. welch: i thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, it's been 141
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days, that's how long it's been since the house agriculture committee on a bipartisan basis passed the farm bill by a vote of 35-1. that's the high water mark of bipartisanship in this congress. it represents something that's too lacking in washington today, a serious attempt at progress through bipartisan work. . we need a farm bill. america needs a farm bill. our farmers, our folks dependent on nutrition programs, our folks who are farming and want to conserve the land, are entitled for congress to act. it's one thing to vote yes, it's one thing to vote no. it's unacceptable not to vote at all. the decision on whether we are going to vote on the farm bill is up to the leadership. they owe it to each one of us so that we can vote, be accountable to the people we represent and give america a farm bill.
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there is absolutely no excuse for congress to not even try to do its job which will occur when this bill is brought to the floor. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to the rules of the house and house resolution 821, i call up h.r. 6429, the stem jobs act of 2012, as amended, and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 6429, a bill to amend the immigration and nationality act to promote innovation, investment, and research in the united states to eliminate the diversity immigrant program, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 821, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of the rules committee print 112-34, modified by the amendment printed in house
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report 112-697, is adopted. the bill as amended is considered as read. the gentleman from california, mr. issa, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, each will control 45 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. issa: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on house resolution 62 -- 6429 as amended, under current consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. issa: mr. speaker, i recognize myself for an opening statement. mr. speaker, when it comes to the stem fields, this is long overdue. this is not the first time we have considered it, but as we go into the lame duck session, i'd like the american people to understand why this is so important. for more than two years the national campaigns have talked in terms of jobs.
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stem means jobs, mr. speaker. many years ago thomas friedman wrote about an experience of being a speaker at a commencement, and he watched one after another individuals cross receiving their masters and doctorate degrees in science, in math, engineering. the amazing thing is one after another had names that were almost imupon to pronounce -- impossible to pronounce in some cases, and clearly the majority of these engineers and scientists were going -- came from other countries and were being told they must return to them. he made the statement in his op-ed that in fact at the end rather than just a diploma, they should be given a diploma and green card. mr. speaker, i agree with thomas friedman on this subject. for each person we welcome to
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america with one of these high degrees, we create jobs, net jobs. we create opportunity for expansion of the kinds of businesses that, in fact, americans are prepared to work in, but often we do not have enough engineers, scientists, or math professionals. this shortage, particularly at the masters and doctorate level, is well documented. this is not something in which republicans and democrats are on different sides. this is something which we agree to it. there is some controversy, as you might imagine, and there always is. some would cling to a selective lottery that allows 55,000 immigrants to come for no reason other than they asked and they got a lottery. those 55,000 are in fact an example of a great many of our immigrants. only 5% of immigration visas today are based on skills of
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education and other capacities. only 5%. although i support other categories of immigration, including those fleaing the tyranny of their own -- fleeing the tyranny of their own countries, i certainly agree that family reunification continues to be an important part of our immigration system, but today what we are dealing with is the ability to make a profound difference of 55,000 opportunity jobs. we often hear about opportunity scholarships, mr. speaker. opportunity jobs is what we are talking about today. jobs that are in great demand in this high unemployment area, stem jobs can be not just below four, but in some cases below 2%. the truth is if you're qualified and you have these kinds of advance degrees, the jobs are
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far greater than the qualified applicants. 3/4 of likely voters support strongly this type of legislation. and i believe properly understood that for each stem immigration visa, the fact that you would gain net jobs, by bringing in these 55,000 we could drop hundreds of thousands of people from the unemployment rolls because they could become employed. the benefit to our economy is undeniable. the controversy here today will simply be are we willing to act and act now? many say that little good happens in a lame duck session. in this case, i believe both in the house and hopefully in the senate, we can say not true. some of the groups that have strongly come out in support of this legislation include the institute for electrical and electronic engineers.
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an area shortage. the u.s. chamber of commerce, an area of commerce. compete america, the information technology industry association, and the society of human resource management, and i might say, the industry i came from, the consumer electronics association has long supported these kinds of investments in america. this bill has a large support of the majority of the house of representatives, and on a bipartisan basis. last september by an overwhelming vote, more than 100 votes to spare, stem jobs passed under suspension. to protect american jobs, employers who hire stem graduates must advertise for the position before they can ask for them. they must make their jobs available to all existing american workers. and in fact, these protections
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have long meant that after all that advertising, employers often entered the h-1-b attempt to get a temporary worker. but in fact for permanent opportunities and permanent growth, we should have more permanent jobs than simply a guest technology worker. more importantly, i think it's universally recognized by both my colleagues on the other side and my colleagues that if you have somebody who is going to benefit america, having them benefit america for a short time and then go home, and in fact compete against america is not in america's best interest. in fact, the assistant secretary of state for visa services has testified that the diversity fraud in the system that we are attempting to take these slots from is so huge as to in fact make it effectively worthless. in those hearings and many others, we have determined that we do have an opportunity on a
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net basis, no new immigrants, but in fact a selection of the one that is americans want would be the best. there are many other provisions in this bill, but i want to touch on one which is family reunification. under this bill we are going to setaside what has been a bad idea for a long time. people who just because of our bureaucracy often wait for family reunification with americans, with green card or fully naturalized citizens often wait for many years to be reunited. under this bill i believe broadly supported we are going to change that. we are going to make it to where after one year, if there are no other impediments to their coming, they may wait with their families here for final status. we believe that this is the best solution to a problem where we have had pervasive slowness in the process, and it's to the detriment of families being
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together. so although there will be additional comments, and i intend to make additional comments, i want to close simply by saying one thing. i was an employer. i knew that in fact, technology and people who could apply it allowed my company to compete globally. i knew that in fact there were never enough of those people. i always had an open to hire if i found a smart engineer or smart scientist. mr. speaker, we can only gain by asking as many people who are smart and who create opportunities far beyond just their own to be part of our society. it's smart in business, it's smart in america. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: i want to begin by pointing out that it's rarely
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the same poison pill that defeated this bill on suspension is now being brought up again for the same--- same poison bill that pits immigrant and minority communities against one another and makes the legislation therefore unworkable. rather than simply creating green cards for stem graduates, the majority insist that we must pay for the new visas by completely eliminating diversity visas, a long-standing legal immigrant program. the elimination of the diversity visa program will drastically reduce immigration from african nations because immigrants from africa normally comprise half the diversity visas program
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annual beneficiaries. rather than reaching out to minority and immigrant communities, the majority is foresome reason steamrolling through a bill -- for some reason steamrolling a bill that we otherwise agree with that cuts visas for minorities and signals their continued support for a grover norquist-style no new green cards pledge that says you can't create a green card for one person without taking it away from someone else. even worse, it's shameful in design to reduce the overall level of legal immigration. under the current law, unused visas in one immigration category roll over to immigrants in other categories who are stuck in decades-long, decades-long green card
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backlogs. but h.r. 6429 doesn't do this. thereby ensuring that unused visas are wasted and legal immigrants must continue to suffer in long backlogs. this is a naked attempt to satisfy any immigrants groups that have long lobbied for reduced levels of legal immigration. if this is a new strategy on immigration, it sure looks a lot like the old one. a zero sum rule means our immigration system can never be fixed. we would not be able to craft solutions for the dreamers who were brought here as children or for the agricultural workers growing the food on our table, or for american families whose loved ones are stuck in decades-long green card
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backlogs. and so we are not fooled by the majority's assertion that this latest version of the bill actually helps families. in reality the provision that the majority touts is a step backwards from the act enacted under a republican congress in 2000. under that act undocumented spouses and children lawful permanent residents were able to obtain b visas and eventually adjust their status to flaul permanent residents. the bill offered such family members protection from removal and explicitly granted work authorization. in contrast, the provision that my colleagues herald this morning is helping families grant certain spouses and children who have already wait
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add broad -- waited abroad for over a year temporary b visas. there is no work authorization and undocumented family members would be excluded although -- all together from participating in this program. . so while the majority bill provides permanent green cards for businesses, it provides nuclear families with nothing more than temporary visas without work authorization. and then only after a one-year separation. and through undocumented children and spouses of lawful permanent residents, the bill offers nothing at all. and so i regret that this legislation was brought to the floor without any committee process, without any opportunity for amendment and without any input from those on
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this side of the aisle. and so i hope that in the coming congress the majority will cast aside this political theater and join me in the hard work of finding workable bipartisan solutions to fix our immigration system. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: mr. speaker, to my colleague from michigan, 1990 is a longstanding part of our 236-year history. 1990 is a long part of 236 years, and 55,000 out of one million immigrant visas is a large part. i think on this side of the aisle we know better. we know that in fact this is a relatively recent provision, the 55,000 diversity visa, and clearly america continues to be the most generous nation on
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earth when it comes to welcoming people to our country. and with that i recognize my colleague and classmate coming to congress and the distinguished gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, a co-sponsor of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i appreciate this bill coming up. this has been long, long overdue. many of us have been working on this issue for years. several years ago when i first got to congress i met with some c.e.o.'s of major tech corporations who told me that they have to follow the talent wherever it goes. some 65% of ph.d. graduates in the stem fields are actually foreign born. they come, are educated here and then return home or return somewhere else to compete against us. we ought to be rolling out the red carpet for them to stay. in fact, what i was told is we should staple a green card to
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their diploma. so i introduced three congresses ago and every congress since then the staple act which would do that. get rid of the quotas that we have on those who come here, are educated in our universities and receive ph.d.'s in the stem field. this legislation is similar to the staple act and i support it. there's no reason we ought to force those to return home or elsewhere who are willing to stay here and create jobs. we ought to roll out the red carpet. as i say, we ought to staple a green card to their diploma and welcome them here and create jobs. that's why i'm glad this legislation is before us. i support it and urge my colleagues to do so as well. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased now to recognize the ranking member of the immigration subcommittee who represents the place where many
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of these teches come from, silicon valley, ms. zoe lofgren, for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for five minutes. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, i have long been a champion of creating green card program for foreign students with advanced degrees from america's great research universities. coming from silicon valley, i'm fortunate enough to see firsthand the new technologies, the new companies, the new jobs that such innovators create every day in the district i represent. there's no question that a stem green card program is the right thing to do for our country. for that reason, it pains me greatly to say i can't support this flawed bill. i can't support a bill that pits communities against one another. this -- i certainly admire the
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gentleman from arizona on his staple act. i know that he has pushed for this over the congresses, but his staple act did not eliminate the diversity visa program, as this does. our colleagues say on the other side of the aisle that a stem visa program is critical to the future of this country, and i agree, but if that's true, why poison the bill with an unrelated provision to eliminate the diversity visa program? there's no reason that giving a green card to one person should mean taking one away from someone else, but this is exactly what the bill asks us to do. my colleagues are fond of saying they support legal immigration, but this bill shows quite the opposite. supporters of legal immigration would not have to kill one immigration program to benefit another. nor would they agree to grover nor quist-style no new
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immigration -- grover norquist-style no new immigration pledge. how can we craft meaningful solutions to farmers and agriculture workers, for dreamers who were brought here as children or for those families with loved ones waiting abroad in decades long queues? this bill is designed to reduce legal immigration. taking 55,000 green cards from one category and putting them in another may seem like another trade, but it is not if the new category is drafted to ensure that green cards go unused. according to the national science foundation, american universities currently graduate about 30,000 foreign students with degrees that would qualify them with green cards under this bill. assuming every single one of them wanted to stay and could find an employer willing to offer them a permanent job, which is certainly not the
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case, that would still leave 25,000 green cards unused. this bill shamefully prevents those green cards from being used to help other employment and family-based immigrants suffering. i would note those who had their labor certification based on a bachelor of science degree, if you're born in india, you're facing a 70-year wait, and yet this bill will not allow the traditional policy of having visas trickle down when they are unused. that's not the way the immigration system works. i believe the only reason the bill was written in this fashion is to satisfy anti-immigrant organizations who have long lobbied for reduced levels of legal immigration. in an attempt to appear more pro-immigrant, they point to a family friendly provision, but looks can be deceiving. currently a lack of green card means that a category of family-based immigrants, the spouses and minor children of
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u.s. permanent residents, have to wait about two years overseas before they can rejoin their families. instead of providing critical green cards to these nuclear families, the stem bill offers temporary v visas with three significant captions. the family members must spend one year overseas. unlike the original v visa created by a republican congress in 2000, the new visas prohibit family members already here from participating. and unlike the original v visas, recipients were prohibited from working. all the talk about moving forward on immigration, well, this is a step back from where republicans were just 12 years ago. when i hear allegations of fraud in this program, i just have to say that is absurd. in the year 2007, the general accountability office found no documented evidence that
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diversity visa immigrants posed a terrorist or other threat. the visa d.v. recipients go through the same immigration, criminal and national security background checks that everyone goes through when they seek lawful permanent residents. in fact i -- permanent residence. in fact, i ask the gentleman three minutes? mr. conyers: i grant the gentlelady one additional minute. ms. lofgren: the state department used facial recognition programs to reduce fraud. finally, i say this does not do enough to protect workers. i'll give you an example. computer and information sciences -- research scientists in level one, the labor certification may be paid $86,736. that's in a labor cert. but their median income in
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silicon valley is $133,000. we have an idea we shouldn't underpay the foreign scientists. we should pay them the same as americans. this bill fails in that way. finally, i would note that the competitive enterprise institute has come out against this bill because it is -- has extraneous and divisive provisions. we need to move beyond the politics of zero sum immigration. those policies are holding them back and our prosperity hostage. i ask unanimous consent to place in the record the competitive enterprise institute letter in opposition to this bill. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. issa: mr. speaker, i'll be placing in the record information from london's -- the u.k.'s u.s. embassy as current enough actually to
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include condolences for deaths in benghazi on the same page as it says diversity visa fraud warning. i also will be including a press release from the embassy of the united states in dublin, ireland, that starts off by saying, u.s. embassy-dublin, issues caution about diversity visa email scams and other information to show the pervasiveness of this fraud. and with that i yield two minutes -- sorry -- three minutes -- i yield three minutes to the distinguished incoming chairman of the full committee on foreign affairs and longtime expert on this subject, mr. royce. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this stem jobs act. clearly the focus on this provision is to try to bring people with skills here to the united states.
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graduates of american universities in science and in technology and engineering and math, these stem fields, are frankly behind many of the innovations, many of the new businesses that are part of our present and future economic growth. if we want to look at jobs, this is where those new patents, those new ideas will come from that help create jobs. so we have talented students from around the world that contribute to the graduate stem programs of our universities. we are trying to focus on a way to make sure immigration system here puts our interests first as a country. we have the most generous level of legal immigration in the world. but when you think about it, we select only 5% of our immigrants based on the skills and education that they bring to america. and clearly what we're trying to do is make certain that these foreign graduates of u.s. universities in the stem
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fields, because they're in such great demand here, many of them, of course, end up on years' long green card waiting lists and as a result many of them give up and go to work for one of our global competitors. and so our focus is what could we do to accelerate this? this bill alters our current immigration system to encourage job creation by increasing the proportion of new entrance with high levels of education, with high levels of skills. we know that skilled immigrants contribute mightily to the rising u.s. standard of living. they bring capital, as i say, they bring new ideas. they produce new companies here. so with this bill we can help grow innovation, we create the jobs in this country. we got plenty of examples. frankly in california of i.t. firms that are founded by immigrants from china and from india that were educated here
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in our institutions. and so the legislation also contains this family reunification provision which allows graduate spouses and children to live in the u.s. while waiting for their green card application to be processed. one of the things that seems pretty clear to me is because we roll over the green cards every year for the next four years to make sure they all are used that in point of fact we believe that more of them will be used than under the diversity lottery whether or not they're rolled over. so i think it's quite the opposite. i think we in fact focus here on exactly the top of skilled immigration that's most likely to create jobs here in the united states. so i would urge my colleagues to support this bill in order to help our economy grow, and i'll yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield to ms. lofgren 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. lofgren: i just want to address the fraud warning issue. this was a warn to applicants not to be scammed. it wasn't a warning that there was fraud. the idea that you would try as a terrorist to come in, to be in a pool of 20 million people and be in a lottery that only awards 55,000 is almost as absurd as the terror baby suggestion of a few years ago. i will just note that the rollover visas actually is so restrictive that you only roll over if you apply that year. this will not even cure the backlog. it is a fraud. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i now yield to a senior member of the house judiciary committee, sheila jackson lee of texas, for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlelady from texas is recognized for five minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the distinguished gentleman. i think the difference with my friends on the other side of the aisle is their lack of recollecting that america's always viewed immigration as good. . i heard a potent story this morning about the restoring of the statue of lib that's right so many of us as children have had the opportunity to climb to the very top and be reminded of the welcoming of the huddled poor. that's what this debate is all about. just for a moment i want to thank the chairman for yielding to me, and i just want to deviate for a moment in this time of economic tension just to remind people that tomorrow's world aids day and i want to congratulate the thomas street clinic in my district. remind people 25 million people have died since 1981. i just wanted to acknowledge those individuals as we begin this very important debate. we are respectful of immigrants,
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even in the democratic caucus and i imagine in the conference, my good friend who is now managing, had an immigrant history. yesterday we elect add son of immigrants to be the vice chair of the democratic caucus. he told a very potent story about his grandfather coming here to the united states of america. i can assure you that he did not come with massive degrees. but built the foundation for his country and for his family. i am very much in support of the stem process and premise which is to give opportunity to those who have studied in our universities, research institutions. why wouldn't i? having had children who have had the opportunity to attend some of the best institutions in this country, having had my children meet some of those very students from harvard to the university of north carolina and duke. i'm well aware of the importance of this.
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but i would raise the question of whether or not we can judge the diversity visas, where people have come from places like bangladesh and uzbekistan, germany, ethiopia one of our strongest allies in africa, liberia, with an african woman as president. the first on that continent. south africa. maybe we choose to ignore our friends in israel where diversity visas were received. or albania where we went to war to ensure the integrity and the saving of those people. or hungary or iceland, or maybe our strong ally, turkey. that's what diversity visas represent. and there is no reason to borrow from peter to pay paul f my friends would really pay attention to the recent charge of the november 6 election, they would know what america needs is comprehensive immigration reform. if i might in this debate of
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deficit reduction and the need for increased revenue, we know that if you had comprehensive immigration reform over 10 years, you would introduce them to the economy -- into the economy $1.5 trillion. that's a reason to come to the floor right now and vote this bill down and start in the next week and put on the floor the bills that mr. gutierrez and myself and many others at one time senator mccain, wanted to put on the floor of the senate and the house. my concern is that we try to come in a bipartisan manner. i introduced legislation, an amendment in the markup to say that let's study this issue of fraud with diversity visas. let's assess what it is, because we have evidence that in fact the alleged fraud was because of a computer error, not people applying. 15 million have applied. only 50,000 have been able to get the diversity visa.
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and those, some of them are after can immigrants, 50% of them, but they equal only 1% of the legal current residents. this whole question of terrorism just troubles me. i went to the rules committee in the spirit of bipartisanship to say eliminate the provision on diversity visas. we can then support you. keep the underlying premise of this legislation. i even asked that the rollover be extended because there is no evidence that you can get 55,000 spent in four years. if you're serious about creating jobs, i'm serious about creating jobs, my colleagues are serious about creating jobs, but i am disappointed that we would classify the diversity visa as ne'er-do-well. people we don't want. because will i tell you that america was built on the ne'er-do-well. maybe those of us who came at slaves, or indentured servants who came in the late 1800's with
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not any money in their pockets but who were determined to serve this nation. i recall a story of my colleague that his grandfather served in world war i. mr. conyers: yield an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: my colleague's grandfather served in world war i as soon as he got here he was willing to shed his blood for this country. i am on homeland security, mr. speaker, i would not want to jeopardize one inch of this nation's security, but i can assure you if we look to 9/11 there was no one there with a diversity visa. the terrorists had student visas and they were overstays. former congressman bruce morrison who introduced this said the diversity visas are at the heart of the definition of america, as my friend and colleague, congresswoman lofgren says, who would want to stand in line and provide all the information that they needed to provide to get a diversity visa?
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i ask unanimous consent, mr. speaker, to introduce into the record a letter from the archbishop of los angeles, chairman of the conference of catholic bishops who absolutely opposes, a church who believes in the beatitudes, as we all do, ask unanimous consent to introduce this into the record. i rise to oppose h.r. 6429. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. jackson lee: the catholic church does not terrorists. i can overwhelm say -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. mr. conyers: 30 additional seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional 0 seconds. mr. jackson lee: i ask only say catholic church does not want terrorists to roam this nation. if we look closely at the allegation of fraud, we will find computer error, we will find that the decades of diversity visa as they were introduced with bruce morrison, that we will find that this was -- this is not the cause of any chance of terrorism. if we go into our hearts, we'll
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know the diversity visas reflects the language written so eloquently by the poet for the statue of liberty, and that is to bring our huddled poor. those are the great americans. i can assure in you my constituency, mr. chairman, the diverse 18th congressional district of the city of houston, they reflect what america is. i ask my colleagues to oppose this and let us get back to -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: thank you, mr. speaker. correcting the record seems to be an important thing here, so i want to note that earlier the minority said that there was no g.a.o. study. well, i beg to differ, september, 20 12, entitled border security, report to congress on its request on page 19, i'll include this for the record, because the program does not require the u.s.-based
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petitioner, it is particularly susceptible to fraud. diversity visa fraud is rampant in parts of south asia, africa, eastern europe, and is particularly acute in areas where few individuals have independent access to the internet. i'll place that in the record to set the record straight. and the gentlelady from houston mentioned in depth the question of diversity. mr. speaker, 55,000, and perhaps more in the future, stem graduates will bring diversity of employment, the highest levels of unemployment in america, or in the african community and other minority communities, that's the diversity we need to work on. the diversity of unemployment needs to be turned around. that's what the stem bill is about. employ americans. i now yield four minutes to one of the hardest working and most distinguished members when it comes to immigration reform, the
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gentleman from florida, mr. diaz-balart. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for four minutes. mr. diaz-balart: thank you, mr. speaker. let me first thank mr. issa. i applaud the republican leadership for bringing this important bill to the floor. i think it's important we bring down the decibels and we talk about facts. this is an issue that the fashions are very high, but i think it's important to bring down the decibels and speak about facts. we know that america is home to some of the best universities on the planet. and because of that people from around the world, students from around the world, young people from around the world come to study in our universities, and then unfortunately when they are done we in essence show them the door out and they have to leave the country. and they leave the country and become the best, the toughest competitors to america enterprise. they create jobs elsewhere, not in the united states. talking about outsourcing. this is the mother of all
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outsourcing. er so what does this bill do? -- so what does this bill do? it tries to solve that issue. it tries to keep those individuals here. those are the facts. now, i know that -- i would like to see a large number of that. i think all of us should be talking about maybe we should expand those numbers. and that i think would be a wonderful debate to have. now, not only does this bill do that, it also promotes a an immigration system that helps maintain our competitive edge and also helps keep families together. ensuring that spouses and minor children remain together is simply the right thing to do, is it not? is that not something that is a compassionate principle of the vast majority of the members of the house? keeping families together. of course it is. this bill helps to do that.
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mr. speaker, we have heard a lot of blame on this issue on the floor today. frankly for years. and immigration reform. everybody knows my position on immigration reform. it has been talked about for years. with a lot of inflammatory rhetoric, and i will tell you from republicans and democrats alike. the reality is that both sides are to blame for the broken immigration system that we currently have, and both sides need to come together finally, lowering the rhetoric, to find lasting permanent solutions. this bill is an important stem cell research in the tsh-step in the right direction t helps address and fix a very important part of the broken immigration system. it does not, mr. speaker, solve all the problems. it is not the panacea. it does not solve all the problems, but it goes -- it takes a huge step in an area that we have been talking about in the house here for years. and both republicans and democrats have failed to deal
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with it. this bill deals with that important part. so i'm glad this legislation is finally being considered by this body. i commend the house leadership for their commitment to this issue. and i look forward, mr. speaker, to continue to debating other issues, other issues to fix our mostly broken immigration system. that is broken from a to z. i look forward to bringing other issues. but in order to do so, mr. speaker, we need to lower the dess bells, we need to talk about the -- decibels, we need to talk about the facts. the american people want us to finally fix this issue. they want us to come up with real solutions. as i mentioned before, nobody is claiming this fixes everything. but it's a step in the right direction. it fixes part of the problem. i look forward to working when my colleagues on the democratic side and my republican colleagues on other such fixes, but i commend this house, i commend mr. issa, i commend the republican leadership for taking an important step forward. i yield back. mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yield back. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, no one's worked harder on this issue than mr. gutierrez, the gentleman from illinois. i'm pleased to recognize him for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mr. gutierrez: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. we have heard about how important stem visas are and we don't want to debate the point. they are important. that's why when we have the real immigration debate, the debate that will result in the signature of the president, the debate that starts in january when congress is sworn in, that's where we will have stem visas in that bill. so everyone agrees stem visas are important, and if you didn't know this before the last election, i hope you know it now. the american people want us to fix our immigration system. but the more important message i got from the election is that american people say that we can solve the immigration issue if
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republicans and democrats work together, put aside bitterness, come to the table in an honest manner. not enough to talk about lowering the rhetoric, an honest manner. a transparent manner. we can solve the tough problems of immigration and make it the top of our list. we need to make it a part of america's pass, present, and future and solve the problems we have with our current immigration mess like adults. honestly and openly and in a bipartisan manner. we need to stop scoring cheap political points and playing games with immigration and start working together, not bringing bills without ever discussing and negotiating with the other side of the aisle. that's not the way you get comprehensive, which is why it is so disappointing that the majority has decided to undermine an area of bipartisan agreement on stem visas by loading up the measure with provision that is are a slap in the face to the core value and the position of immigrants to
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the united states of america. . if you support this bill then you are saying that one type of immigrant is better than the other. their work is more important than others. in order to give visas to those with ph.d.'s and masters degrees, republicans make two demands. first, we take away visas and the only means of legal immigration from 50,000 people who may not have ph.d.'s or masters degrees. talk about picking winners and losers. my dad, if he had been an immigrant from ireland or nigeria or taiwan would have been told, nope, this is not for you, mr. gutierrez. it's like we used to say hanging up signs in america, help wanted, irish need not apply, which is part of the diversity program they are trying to kill. the other part is that we treat families with ph.d.'s and
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masters degrees differently than those who didn't have doctorates. if you have a masters and ph.d., we say, come to america. bring your wife and kid. automatic work permit for spouses, no waiting for stem degree holders. if you don't have a ph.d. or a masters degree we will take away your wife's ability to work legally. we may let her in six months or a year -- mr. conyers: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. gutierrez: it's they said to my father, no doctor before your name, no fancy initials, mr. gutierrez, after your name? well, mr. gutierrez and the kids, stay home. you can't work. there was no special line for ph.d.'s and master degree holders on ellis island. there was no asterisks on the statue of liberty that a high i.q. is the standard. they are saying my father, and i resent it, my father was too stupid to make it but he put two kids through college and one in the house of
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representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: mr. speaker, i might note for the gentleman that in fact there are more than 12,000 african students studying in stem fields here in the united states at the advanced level and almost 1,500 my jeerian-specific students alone getting graduate level degrees in stem fields in america at this time. with that i recognize the gentleman from iowa, a member of the immigration subcommittee, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. king: i thank the gentleman from california for yielding to me and point out, mr. speaker, that i have served on the immigration subcommittee for 10 years. in that period of time, i've sat in on dozens and scores and perhaps hundreds of hearings during that period of time and gathered information and a knowledge base on these issues. i walked into this issue as a freshman member of congress 10 years ago with this statement. the immigration policy that we have in this country needs to be designed to enhance the
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economic, the social and the cultural well-being of the united states of america. in fact, every country's immigration policy should fit that standard. we can't have debates about the definitions of those three words that are part of that direction, but what's going on here is the eliminating of a foolish policy we had and i have long before for the repeal of the visa diversity lottery program and i have long before for setting up a system so that we can promote the economic, social and cultural well-being of the united states through our policies. in some of the information in hearings we only controlled our immigration policy, depends on whose numbers you look at, between 7% and 11% of the legal immigrants -- mr. issa: i yield the gentleman 15 seconds. mr. king: we only control between 7% and 11% of the legal immigration in this country on merit. the rest of that doesn't have to do with the merits and how they contribute to the u.s. this bill does do that. i support 6429.
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i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of it and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased now to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york whose worked on this issue, congressman hosea serrano. -- congressman jose serrano. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for three minutes. mr. serrano: i thank the gentleman. let's understand what is happening here today. this bill doesn't increase available visas. it meanwhile transfers them from one program to another. but it eliminates the diversity visa program that allows people from all over the world to come here. sometimes i wish i could be not only a member of this party but an advisor to that party to tell them that they miss opportunities. here they have the first immigration statement that they could make after the people
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spoke november 6 and what do they do? they destroy a great program because they just can't help themselves. what we need is not a piecemeal approach. what we need is not to say that we will only take certain people with college degrees and with doctor in front of their names and the rest, we will reduce those. no, what we say is we have an immigration issue in this country. we have 11 million people who are in this country who want to stay in this country who do a lot for this country, and rather than be dealing with this approach today, we should be seriously speaking about comprehensive immigration reform. to say to those 11 million people, we understand who you are. we understand and we're going to help you to speak english. we understand who you are. we make sure you pay your taxes. we're going to make sure that you are applying to be part of this country and you haven't broken the law. but if you came here to work
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and if you came here with children and if you came here with your parents a long time ago, we want you to stay. that was clear. if there is any analysis that came from november 6 that the people in this country, the american people want comprehensive immigration reform. that is what we need to do. not a piecemeal approach that pits one group of people against the other. if this is an indication of what's coming as people evolve on the issue, as we're hearing on the talk shows, that they're evolving on the issue of immigration, if this is evolving, we're in deep trouble again. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has agreed to s. res. 604, relative to the death of the honorable warren rugman, former united states senator for the state of new hampshire.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. issa: mr. speaker, it is now my honor to ask to yield one minute to the distinguished -- my distinguished colleague from the state of virginia, the majority leader of the house and a strong advocate for this and other immigration reform, mr. cantor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cantor: thank you, mr. speaker, and i thank the gentleman from california. mr. speaker, we all agree that getting our economy moving again needs to be our top priority, but jobs will not take off until american businesses have the workers they need to drive innovation and growth. and the immigrants who come to this country for school and for work have always been key players in driving our nation's economy. unfortunately, current immigration policies are preventing american businesses from hiring foreign students who earn advanced degrees in approximate science, technology, engineering and
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mathematics from our best universities. from growing startups to u.s. multinationals, american employers are desperate for qualified stem workers no matter where they're from. microsoft, for example, has over 6,000 job openings waiting to be filled by scientists, researchers, engineers and developers. for now these openings and many others will remain vacant because too few american students are graduating with stem degrees and foreign stem graduates can't get the visas they need. every year the u.s. invests in educating thousands of foreign students in stem fields at our top universities only to send them back to compete against us. chairman lamar smith, along with congressman raul labrador, congressman bob goodlatte, and of course, the gentleman from california, mr. issa, have all worked on this and we have now put forward the measure before us to spur job creation by
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providing a pathway for american educated foreign graduates with advanced stem degrees to work here and contribute to our economy. the bill also keeps immigrant families together by letting the husbands, wives and minor children of immigrant workers wait in the u.s. with their families for their green cards. the stem jobs act realindicates existing visas currently distributed through a random lottery and direct them instead to the highly skilled foreign graduates of u.s. universities who have enormous potential to help grow our economy, our top priority. the partnership for a new american economy found that every immigrant with an advanced stem degree working for a u.s. company creates about three new american jobs, and one quarter of all stem focused companies in the u.s. count at least one immigrant as
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a founder. at american multinationals like qualcomm, merck, g.e. and cisco, immigrants filed up to 72% of the patents filed, giving those businesses a competitive edge and helping them expand and create jobs here at home. our commitment to foreign stem graduates is a commitment to american job creation. foreign students are drawn to our shores by our world-class universities and they want to say because they know in america there is immensed opportunity. we need to bet on students who bet on america. we are a nation that was built by people who risked everything for the promise of opportunity, and we must continue to be that nation. we must make sure that u.s. companies can hire the top foreign talent we're educating. instead of sending those graduates into a bureaucratic maze or worse to our competitors.
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this is a commonsense solution that should have bipartisan support. let's pass the stem jobs act to make sure dipalomas come with green cards, not a -- diplomas come with green cards, not a spot on a waiting list. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield to the distinguished gentleman from georgia, a member of the judiciary committee, mr. johnson, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for three minutes. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. deeply embedded in this legislation is a poison pill, and for that reason and others i rise in opposition to h.r. 6429. it eliminates the diversity immigrant visa program while failing to address the broader problems of the immigration system. highly skilled immigrants contribute much to the u.s. economy through new businesses and jobs.
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indeed, stem visas should be the cornerstone of the 21st century immigration system that meets our economic needs, but the stem jobs act unnecessarily eliminates the diversity immigrant visa program, which provides 55,000 visas annually to immigrants who are underrepresented in the u.s. immigration system. because roughly half of these immigrants are blacks from africa, eliminating these visas disproportionately affects them. african immigrants are also disadvantaged by a system that perpetuates their exclusion. for instance, africans are unable to take advantage of immigrant visas issued in the family preference category because few americans have existing -- excuse me -- few africans have existing family ties in the united states.
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eliminating the diversity visa program harms america's diversity, which is both important and necessary. it's alarming that republican supporters of this bill view immigration as a zero sum game where we can only grant stem visas by eliminating diversity visas. that is racist. if not in its intent then certainly in its effect. republicans have received or just received historically low votes from minorities in the past election, yet they want to create an immigration system that gives visas with one hand while taking visas away from minorities with the other. h.r. 6429 fixes one problem while creating others, undermining a program that is
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critical to our nation's diversity. it is a trojan horse and the ugly head of racism will rear its ugly head if this trojan horse, h.r. 6429, becomes law. what america needs is an immigration system that creates opportunities for new americans, unites families and provides for a robust system for enforcement. . because this bill fails to address these largers challenges, while eliminating a program for diversity, i plan to vote against it and i urge my colleagues to do the same. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. mr. issa: i would inquire if the gentleman's statement about the ugly head of racism was a reference to those of us who authored this bill? the speaker pro tempore: the chair will not render an advisory opinion. mr. issa: i yield the gentleman
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10 seconds. mr. johnson: i'm not accusing anybody of racism. i don't know what is in the heads of those who support this bill, but if it's not racist in its intent, it's certainly racist in its effect. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. issa: as i previously said more than 12,000 african citizens will be eligible under this today. more than 1,500 nigerian citizens will be eligible under this today. and out of a million people that get to come to this country today, it's amazing that a program so fraught with fraud and recognized for fraud would somehow not be the lonlical place to expand the merit-based, merit-based opportunity. mr. speaker, as a point of personal privilege, i must tell you i went to college with a lot of people from around the world
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and they were very diverse, and the grad students were very diverse. i'm personally insulted that anyone would use even loosely the term of racism as part of a statement related to merit-based advanced degrees. i have been at university graduations. the people graduating and walking across the aisle are extremely diverse, extremely diverse. i believe the gentleman needs to go to a few college graduations and see masters and ph.d. candidates if he's going to refer to this any way as racist. with that i'd like to -- mr. johnson: would the gentleman yield? mr. issa: i yield him two minutes, mr. fitzpatrick. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. fitzpatrick: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i rise in support of this legislation, the stem jobs act. this is a bill which will provide much needed employment-based immigration reform and will help position our economy for success in the 21st century.
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the stem fields of science, technology, engineering, and math must be encouraged in our own schools as well as in the new populations of innovators who want to participate in our economy. these high-tech jobs help support many middle class communities that are the bedrock of the american community, including the communities of bucks county, pennsylvania, where i come from. while we continue to encourage stem education here at home, we must also welcome those who earned an advanced degree in a stem field from an american university and who want to be part of our economy. while still protecting american workers. and that is exactly what the stem jobs act accomplishes. as we engage these high-tech innovators in our economy, the stem jobs act also rightly recognizes the need to support and prioritize families. the pro-family expansion of the v-nonimmigrant visa program within this bill is an important element of a fair immigration system.
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so the stem jobs act appropriately prioritizes jobs and families. it's a very good bill. it's a fair bill for the 21st century. i encourage my colleagues to support it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield 30 seconds to zoe lofgren. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. lofgren: thank you, mr. speaker. i think it's important that we have the facts of the national science foundation on immigration from africa. there are about, according to n.s.f., 13,000 students from africa. the vast majority of them are bachelor degree candidates not eligible for visas under this bill. the vast majority of those in graduate school are not in stem fields, again not eligible for visas upped this bill. i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i am pleased to yield to mr. connolly of virginia, three minutes.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for three minutes. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my colleague, my friend from michigan. mr. speaker, this is the second time this bill has been brought before this house for consideration. it's clear my republican friends recognize the urgency for expanding the number of visas for high-skilled workers, particularly students with stem graduate degrees, a worthy goal. rather than simply increase the number of those visas, my republican colleagues once again are presenting us with a false choice. just like the previous bill, which failed, this one deceptively expands the number of stem visas, but only at the expense of the successful diversity visa program, which has been the primary pathway used by generations of immigrants in american history. this bill not only eliminates that program, but it would also reduce the total number of available visas by preventing unused slots from rolling over to be transferred to another
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visa program. that just shows my colleagues still haven't gotten it from the recent election. in which immigrants and minorities played a growing role and it casts doubt on whether we are going to be able to come together to achieve meaningful immigration reform, frankly, with that attitude. the business community, particularly the high-tech employers in my district in northern virginia, they get it about the need to expand the stem program. but here again this bill fails the renalt test by creating a new process in which employers have to file an application with the state or federal government to certify that issuing that stem visa is in the national interest. talk about unnecessary regulation. and now the manager's amendment delays implementation of the bill by a year. we already know the economic benefits of expanding the high-skill visa pool and employers have said we can't afford to wait any longer.
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mr. speaker, this does not have to be a zero sum game f my republican colleagues truly want to help our employers and our economy, we could bring up a clean version of this bill, one, for example, introduced by our colleague, zoe lofgren of california, or we could bring up another bipartisan bill, the start up 2.0 act which i'm proud to co-sponsor with our colleague, michael grimm of new york. that would only expand the number of visas for stem graduates but also those entrepreneurs looking to start up business and create jobs right here in america. here is an opportunity for us to fulfill the mandate from the election and actually compromise on something that will benefit the economy. this bill sadly does not meet that test. i thank my colleague. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: mr. speaker, the truth is persistent. according to d.h.s., where they study student tracking, this is their source, not mine, i will
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read verbatim once again for the gentlelady from california. there are more than 12,000 african students studying in stem fields in the united states. of course some currently could be undergraduate. almost 1,500 nigerian students alone are getting a graduate level education in stem fields. yes, this bill will encourage those able to go on and get graduate degrees in stem fields to do so because, yes, that's going to give them an opportunity. but don't we want the best from the brightest? isn't that the goal? isn't job creation the goal? with that i ask to yield three minutes to the gentleman from arkansas, mr. griffin. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from arkansas is recognized for three minutes. mr. griffin: i rise today in support of the stem jobs act and i thank chairman smith for his leadership as chairman of the judiciary committee. this is a critical piece of
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legislation that narrowly failed to pass when the house considered it in september. i'm very pleased we are considering it again here today. over the past few weeks when i was back in my district, the job creators there in central arkansas that i spoke with emphasized the need to once again bring this bill up. and i want to share a little bit about those conversations. first of all, well spun tubular is in my district. it made the pipes in keystone x.l. pipeline. they need advanced stem graduates to train workers. power technologies the company that needs highly skilled workers to design, develop, and manufacture laser products. they say they need this bill passed. these companies have struggled to find the specific talent they need. and this bill would help them create jobs. this is a jobs bill. i want to emphasize this bill will not take away from american
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jobs. these stem visas will be made available only for foreign graduates of u.s. universities with advanced stem degrees. ph.d.s in the first instance followed by foreign born graduates master degree programs for which we have a shortage. companies that offer jobs to foreign stem graduates also must certify there are no american workers able, willing, qualified and available for the job. we are currently educating highly skilled ph.d.s and masters and sending them back home to compete against us after they graduate. where i'm from that's like recruiting the best football players from texas, teaching them the arkansas offense, and then sending them back to texas to compete against us. that doesn't make any sense. people get that. let's fix it. let's pass this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. i recognize the gentlelady from new york, carolyn maloney, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for three minutes. mrs. maloney: i thank the gentleman for yielding and his leadership. mr. speaker, in the wake of the november elections there's been a growing consensus that it's time to undertake a comprehensive immigration reform. there are many good reform proposals out there, but unfortunately this is not one of them. though this bill does have some merit, those merits are more than offset by the bill's defects. what glaring problem is that this bill treats immigration as a zero sum game. it seems to operate under the assumption that any time a door is opened to a new class of entrants, it must slam the door shut on another. this bill would totally eliminate the long-standing diversity visa program that now
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provides one of the few legal pathways to enter the united states. currently the diversity visa program only issues 50,000 visas a year and in 2013 almost eight million people worldwide have applied for this visa. for anyone looking to find a legal way to come to this country right now, the chances are pretty slim. the zero sum approach of this bill reduces those chances even further. it achieves almost the opposite of what the american people have asked us to do. fortunately there are better bills out there, bills that address some of the core concerns, bills that are ready to go. for instance, they are tracking the best and brightest act, zoe lofgren's bill, h.r. 6412, would create a new green card for people with graduate degrees from u.s. research universities in the stem disciplines. according to a recent article in the "new york times," currently
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we have in our country about a million engineers, scientists, and other highly skilled workers on h-1-b temporary visas. when these visas expired we send them home. we train them in the stem disciplines with our high-tech universities and our high-tech economy badly needs their skills. and then we just send them home. that is just absolutely crazy. the democratic bill, h.r. 6412, would help us retain some of that valuable, highly trained talent we helped to create. the eb-6 visa would require all applicants to have an advanced degree from an accredited public or nonprivate university. it would provide 50,000 of these stem visas, but it would not eliminate other visa programs that are helpful such as the diversity visa. and there as also a bill i authored with senator kerry, the
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start up visa act. our bill would recognize the great contributions made to our economy by these job creators and it would establish an employment based conditional immigrant visa. applicants would have to be immigrant entrepreneurs, seeking to establish a start up company, or already have businesses in the u.s. and it would have to have sufficient financial backing. we do need more talented people going into the stem -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. mrs. maloney: let's refuse to slam the door on other immigrants. vote no on this bill. vote yes on the democratic bill that provides stem visas and provides help to our economy. thank you very much. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from florida is recognized. >> i yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from washington, ms. herrera butler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from washington is recognized for three minutes. ms. herrera butler: thank you, mr. speaker. let me, before i speak something specifically to this bill, i
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think it's important to note i know my colleagues from the other side of the aisle are decrying this bill and its immigration stance, but i would submit for your consideration when you had control of the house, the senate, and white house, you did not pass immigration reform. so let's stop treating this issue like a political football. as the first hispanic, american of hispanic descents to represent washington state here in the united states house, i want us to tackle this issue, but let's keep the facts the facts and not use it as a political football because it's important to millions of americans and millions of immigrants who want to come here, why wouldn't you? this is a land of opportunity. and we want the best and brightest here in the united states, creating jobs and growing our economy because in southwest washington where i'm from, we need jobs. . today we need to focus on commonsense solutions.
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we're literally educating foreign men and women and then requiring them to go to india and china and be our competitors. under this scenario, who wins? well, china and india win, our competitors win. who loses? the american worker. because as the best and the brightest internationally want to come here and we tell them, go i way, go start a business to compete with our jobs, those jobs will not grow in southwest washington. fortunately today we have the opportunity to change that. and then we can go on and tackle some of the other issues that my colleagues are bringing up, because they're important and they're valid. this stem jobs bill ensures that employers are opening their doors and there are job opportunities to americans first. if there aren't enough to -- enough americans to fill those positions, then we go to the foreign people. this will open up an
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opportunity for the people i serve and for those we serve across this great nation. you know, large employers -- microsoft was mentioned -- they're from my state. they have 6,000 jobs to fill. they want to fill it with american workers. if they are not able to, then they need to have the ability to offer those immigrants from china, india, mexico, africa, whoever wants to come here and be a part of the economic engine that creates opportunities. let's open those doors. why not? with this bill we'll continue to educate talented people, an incentive to fuel our economy. instead of sending them home to compete with us and our workers, we'll get to grow those yobs right here. this is a compassionate bill that will drive economic innovation and create jobs. it is pro-family. it pros vidse incentives to those who go about it in the right way, they will be able to reunite with their families in
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the united states because of this job -- because of this bill. i would request an additional 20 seconds? mr. issa: i yield the gentlelady an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. herrera butler: this will allow them and the family members waiting to come and be with their mother, their father who's here working. i mean, this has a lot of opportunities and it also has safeguards for the american workers. those jobs are first available to those citizens who may be able to fill the qualifications. i ask my colleagues to support this good bill. it's a piece of the puzzle. it's not the whole thing. but we need to take this a piece at a time, a solution at a time and quite frankly right now solutions are what the american people are asking for and this is a very good one. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield to zoe lofgren, again, for a minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is
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recognized for one minute. ms. lofgren: i want to correct the record. i recall when democrats were in the majority. we passed the dream act. we got eight republican votes to pass that bill act. further, the way this bill was written, if you were brought here as a baby but now you're getting your -- you're in violation of the immigration law -- but now you're getting your ph.d. in computer science from stanford university, you're not eligible for one of these visas. this is written in a way to divide people. it's not even an honest effort to capture the best and brightest. and further on african immigration, last year we had 6,218 diversity visa recipients from nigeria. taking the chairman's number of 1200, i don't want to get in an argument, in masters, ph.d.'s in stem fields. as you know ph.d. programs are six-year programs. most master programs are
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two-year programs. so those graduating would be a few from that, a few hundred each year. we'll see a huge reduction in immigration from nigeria, just as an example. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. issa: thank you. i yield myself in response. there we go again. looking at the numbers rather than the merit. mr. speaker, the merit of this piece of legislation is to get america working, to use the opportunity that is being squandered to get america working again. for each advanced degreed stem immigrant, we in fact create three jobs. that's not being disputed by the minority. it's not being disputed by the 30 or so members of the minority who voted for this bill previously. when we bring up, under this legislation, the opportunity to
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more quickly reunify families of legal immigrants, what we get told is you're not doing it immediately. now, of course, if we did it immediately without any sort of process, an opportunity to make sure they're eligible reunification, we'd be criticized for that. you're moving up the speed with which families could be reunited, you don't get credit. you're giving an opportunity for hundreds of thousands of american jobs, of existing americans to be created by recruiting people that could help create jobs, you're being criticized. if one country wins and another one loses a few thousand slots, you're being criticized. mr. speaker, i have to remind my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, a million or so people come to this country every year. this is a small part of it, and this is a part of it that history is quite clear on. senator kennedy and a few others created this particular
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item for their own purposes because they looked at the outcome of irish, basically, to a certain extent, getting to come here under this visa. and now everyone's wanted to use the diversity visa lottery for years, and i've seen it gamed all over the world, in lebanon, in bangladesh and in other places. there's no question it has a lot of fraud, but that's not really the discussion today. the real discussion is american jobs, the diversity of employment. as the gentlelady from california, my colleague on the committee, knows this also is a piece of legislation that will encourage men and women from around the world, brilliant men and women to choose american universities to get their degrees from, to choose america to be the place in which they invest not just their god-given talents but their american acquired talents in. yes, it will encourage people from countries like africa and other places who are smart to come here to get their advanced
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degrees in greater numbers. what part of a good idea can't we accept? lastly, mr. speaker, i just can't stop finding it hard to understand. we roll over these slots specifically because we understand in the first year bureaucracy in our government often makes things not happen, but we preserve for four years these slots. and the gentlelady from california is quite right about one thing. we certainly should look together at additional areas of skills and degrees that if they came to america would add to america and put them at the front of the line. and i'm going to say i guess lastly, to the immigrant population, to the people who are new americans, you came here with a belief in america and you came here wanting to add to america and we want the next people that come behind
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you to add to what you're adding, not to undermine a job that you -- that you currently have but in fact to help create more jobs. i believe in the immigrant history of america, an immigrant future of america or i wouldn't be supporting this and other bills. in just a few weeks, i hope that in the new congress we will be taking up additional comprehensive legislation, but if you can't take yes for an answer on a significant portion, then i suspect we will have a very difficult time taking yes for an answer on the harder decisions to come on immigration reform. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, we're prepared to close on this side if the gentleman on the other side is ready. mr. issa: mr. speaker, so are we. i reserve the right to close. mr. conyers: i am pleased to yield to mr. gutierrez of illinois our remaining time.
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mr. gutierrez: thank you so much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 10 minutes. mr. gutierrez: well, let's look at what we debated here this morning. the truth is, as the gentleman from california so roitly notes, this is something we can all agree on. had a is stem visas to supply the need for that economic engine of our economy. that's not really the question here. the question is at what cost do we allow this to happen? and what we are saying is it is almost as though november 6 came and went and my friends on the other side of the aisle just never listened to the verdict of the people. and what they said to us was, stop picking winners and
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losers. stop dividing and pitting one american against another. how many countless occasions haven't we heard our friends on the other side of the aisle decry us for class warfare, for class warfare? and yet they come with the proposal here today, and we can use their very words, they want smart people, they want educated people, they want people who are going to add something to the economy. well, let me just suggest that we, many of us in this congress today, came from very humble roots, and, yes, i resent the fact that people come before the well of the house to tout the virtues of their moms and dads and say, my mom worked really hard. she scrubbed pots. she stayed up and she mopped people's homes. she worked so hard. she has nothing left on her fingers so i could get an education and i could come to
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the congress of the united states. and yet they come and propose something that would deny other people that same opportunity to come here, to work hard, to sweat and to toil and to one day seasoned their son or daughter to the congress of the united states. you can find the speeches throughout the history of the congress of the united states. the difference today is that this side of the aisle wants to be honest and consistent with that story, that virtueous story of immigrants who have come here to sweat and to toil from all kinds. we don't want to come back to the day that irish need not apply. we know the history of immigration in this country when they say, not those people, not those that are not educated, not those that are hungry, not those that are familiarish should not come here. that's an old argument, and we shouldn't be making it today, especially after the election that we just had. all we're saying to the other
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side of the aisle is, why is it that you couldn't sit down with this side of the aisle in a bipartisan -- because that's what people said during the election. they said, hey, listen, guys. we want you to settle down, we want you to work this out for the good of the american people. i'm going to tell you why i believe you couldn't negotiate with us. because you have to negotiate with numbers u.s.a. why don't we just say it? they're the party that's not here in the well of the house, but they're here in spirit and in the legislative policy that we are being reiterated here today. you can't negotiate with us because you have to negotiate with the most extreme element of american society on immigration and not with those that want to bring about comprehensive immigration reform and reform in our immigration system. and who is -- what is numbers u.s.a.? they say in short, numbers u.s.a., short, descriptive
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modifier should call it immigration reduction organization. so who did you negotiate with? the immigration reduction organization. and that's why you have to put up the visa, these visas that have allowed tens of thousands of people that have come to this country and to work hard and to sweat and to toil and to make this a greater nation for all of us. now, how does it reduce the number? it's simple. you know it and we know it. every graduate, masters and ph.d. on an annual basis in the united states, what's the number? what's the number? that's the number we should be conany zant of here -- cognizant of here today. it's 29,000. why are we offering 55,000 visas for 29,000 possible graduates? wait a minute. that's if every graduate doesn't go back to their country. and we know many of them return to their countries to build
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those nations, and we want that to continue. we want them to come to the united states of america and go back to their country and foster democracy and good will. so many of them do that. but not all the 29,000 stay here. so what happens? you eliminate 50,000 visas. you say we're going to give you 55,000. you know you only can use 29,000. it's a net loss. the people on the other side of the aisle keep telling us, why don't they come through the legal way? why don't they come through the legal way? why do they always have to go under, around? they should come here legally. because we're for legal immigration. not today you're for legal immigration, because in the end you reduce the ability of people to come legally to the united states of america, and that is the diversity program, a program that allows. and lastly, let me just be very, very clear. . when we look at this and talk
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about the continent of africa, we think it's important that every continent of the world be able to come here and contribute to the great nation that is because that is the diversity in the greatest tradition of america. ellis island, bring me everyone from everywhere to sweat and to toil and to make america a greater nation. but think about it a moment. if half of the 55,000, just do the math, if half of the 55,000 diversity visas come from the continent of africa, and there are only 29,000 total stem, come on, just do the numbers. and you can see why it is that on our side of the aisle -- let's sit down. let's have a hearing. let's bring in the experts. let's have a discussion and a debate. let's work together. let's sit back. you know what? if we are going to move america
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forward, then we have to stop negotiating with those that want to keep us in the past. and that's numbers u.s.a. numbers u.s.a. who said to you, oh, self-deportation should be the rule of law in america. sb-1070 sthud be institutionalized in every state of the union. look, we rejected that this last election. this last election was a referendum and there were those of us on one side that said to the american people, we want an immigration system that is fairer and sets aside the political bickering to the one side and allows us to fix our immigration system, and another that says we want to stand in the past. let's work together to build a better future for all of us. i honestly and earnestly want that to happen, but i cannot in good conscience vote for a bill that offends my sense of fairness, that offends my sense of the great american tradition that is our immigration
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tradition. thank you so much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i'd inquire how much time i have remaining. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 8 1/2 minutes. mr. issa: i yield myself the remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. issa: mr. speaker, if we were to have a discussion on outcome, my distinguished colleague from detroit, michigan, and i could endlessly quote figures. i'm going to quote just a few because i think they are germane to the last speakers' -- speaker's close. last year -- no, in 2009 the numbers of the top three diversity visas were as follows. 2009, ethiopia, 3,829. nigeria, 3,720. and egypt, a country i visited many, many times, 3,336. no question at all. they are all on the continent of africa. but as recently as 1994, earlier
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on in this long-standing 30-year setaside, it went more like this, poland, 17,000,396. ireland, 15,659. the united kingdom, great britain, 3,174. mr. speaker, one of the problems with the diversity visa is in fact it's a question of whether you put in all the names in the phone book or not. it's a question of who is gaming the system. it doesn't have any sort of, if you will, setaside to ensure an outcome. and within the outcome, whether you are taking from poland, ireland, united kingdom, or in 1999, the next year, few years later, it switched to bulgaria, nigeria, and albania. these top names that occur have a lot to do with how many people
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throw their name in a hat. and nothing to do with whether or not they really want to be americans. whether they really have the qualifications, whether they have any connection to america that would allow them to get a job. not long ago the "wall street journal," i believe, put a whole page into this. talking about and taking one after another anecdotal examples of people who came having won the lottery with the american dream. and found out that they couldn't find a job, maybe a taxi driver, maybe not. they weren't making it and they were thinking about going back. this is all too common in those visas. mr. speaker, i want to use my closing time to address a couple points because they are important for the american people to understand because what you heard here just a few seconds ago was a statement that we just had a referendum. well, i remember all the election talk and very little of it was on immigration, sadly.
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much more of it should have been. we had a referendum on each of us individually, so each of us returning men and women to congress, we have had a referendum in our district. my district was asking me for jobs. i have qualcomm in my district. i have a lot of high-tech companies, particularly in telecommunications and biotech companies, they were asking me for h-1-b temporary visas, and if they could get permanent immigrant, they could use them all. there was a statement made about the numbers, and we could argue over 29,000 or some other number, as though this bill only pertained to next year's college graduate. it doesn't. there is a backlog of tens and hundreds of thousands of people in the stem fields who have already received degrees who would love to come here. they graduated a year ago, two years ago, they are here on an h-1-b, they are not here, they
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would come back here. there is a wealth of people that fit this category so that first four years, that first 220,000 numbers in fact will be well filled. i'm confident it will be filt and overfilled. i'm confident that ms. lofgren desire to deal with some of the other areas which we have critical shortages of skilled people, computer sciences being srnl a possibility, that those will be clamored once its passed to be added. i'm confident that my colleague from california will probably be somebody wanting to add them very quickly. and i suspect i will strongly support her. now, we have had a discussion mostly from the minority about winners and losers. the last, the closing side on the minority side said things like, you don't want -- you only want smart people. you only want people that will add to our economy. you don't want the people who
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come with -- without skills, just with hope. well, we do take a lot of those people, but my colleague was right in a sense. we want to put to the head of the line the people that on every single one of them that comes, net creates jobs, so we know the immigrant coming, at least in the case of 55,000 a year, for each one that comes, three great jobs are created in america. and for each of those that come, even if they bring their family, they are not likely to be a burden on a society. just the opposite. they are going to be a net positive to our economy. they are going to send their children to our colleges and universities, of course. the world is better because america is better. but i also heard a lot of discussion and i have spent 12 years on judiciary. i love what we deal with on that committee. the constitution, immigration, intellectual property. it's why i came to that committee. when you say what you're doing
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like if you take from this particular category, that somehow you are being bad, let's think about some of the other categories. what if we took from family reunification, what would be the cry? it would be, my goodness, these are people just trying to get to be with the rest of their family. be compassionate. and they would be right. maybe if we took from eb-5, a program i'm personally supportive of and want to make better. a program where people invest in america, create net jobs, and get a visa as a result. we could take from that, but that wouldn't be good for jobs. we certainly could theoretically take from people who are the victims of terrorism, of persecution. but america would never do that. so when you look at this vast number, more than of all immigrants going anywhere in the world come to america. in other words, we produce more new americans by importation than the entire rest of the
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world combined. so south of that vast number we choose a small -- so out of that vast number we choose a small amount, 5%, we can do better. we hear a hue and cry we can't do better. this isn't better. mr. speaker, i will say as someone who was listening to my constituents upon my re-election, you better believe this is better. we are bringing the best and the brightest. we are encouraging the front of the line be given to a small portion of immigration for people who have helped create jobs. they'll create jobs for people of all colors, all races. they'll create jobs for people who just came to this country and can't find a job. we are trying to do the right thing for the american people. at least in a small way. i believe this is a great start. so as i vote for this piece of legislation, i'm voting for it because i know as a former businessman, i know as someone who just had a referendum on my own returning to congress, that
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jobs and the economy are what people want us to work on. this is a good down payment. these slots will be filled and oversubscribed. we will look at this as a beginning of a turn toward looking at immigrants as a positive part of our economy. and making it happen. so, i believe that the minority although well intended has basically misled the american people with some of their assumptions, because their assumptions simply aren't right. we will fill these slots. we will bring in 55,000 job creators. we will have diversity from around the world for these individuals. we will encourage people from all over the world, if there are already masters and ph.d.'s and already in london or poland or nigeria that maybe when they finish their master there they get their ph.d. here and become eligible. with that i urge support of the bill. yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman's time has expired. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 821, the previous question is ordered on the bill as amended. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to amend immigration and nationality act to promote innovation investment and research in the united states, to eliminate the diversity immigrant program, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. lofgren: i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentlewoman opposed to the bill? ms. lofgren: i am opposed in its furnt form. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: ms. lofgren of california moves to recommit the bill h.r. 6429 to the committee on the judiciary with instructions to report the same back to the house forth with with the following amendment. strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following
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-- ms. lofgren: i ask unanimous consent that the reading -- the speaker pro tempore: the objection is heard. the clerk will continue reading. the clerk: section one, short title, this act may be cited as the stem jobs act of 2012, section 2, immigrant visas for certain stem graduates, a, worldwide immigration. section 201-d-2 of the immigration and nationality act, 8 u.s.c. 1151-d 2 as amended by adding at the end the following, d-i, in addition to the increase provided under subparagraph c the number computed under this paragraph for fiscal year 2014 and subsequent fiscal years shall be further increased by the number specified in clause 2-i. to be used in accordance with paragraph 6 and 7 of section 203-b, except that, i, immigrant visas numbers made available under this subparagraph but not required for the class specified in paragraphs six and seven of section 203-b shall not be
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counted for purposes of subsection c-3-c and two, for purposes of paragraphs one through five of section 203-d, the increase under the subparagraph shall not be counted for purposes of computing any percentage of the worldwide level under this subsection. ii, the number specified in this clause is 55,000. iii, immigrant visa numbers made available under this subparagraph for fiscal year 2014 but not used for the classes specified in paragraphs 6 and 7 of section 203-b in such year may be made available in subsequent years as if they were included in the numbers specified in clause ii only to the extent of the cumulative number of petitions under section 204-a-1-f and applications for a labor certification -- mr. issa: we ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? without objection, so ordered.
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pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes in support of the motion. ms. lofgren: mr. speaker, over the last few days in the rules committee during debate on the rule, today's debate, we had a common refringe from our friends on the other side of the aisle over and over, they say there's agreement on stem visas and we shouldn't let politics get in the way for the good of america and our economy, they say, we should come together on this bipartisan issue and do what's right. i agree. . by all accounts there's nothing but support for the stem visa program and we support stem visas, they support stem visas, so why on earth aren't we just voting on stem visas. according to our colleagues, that's the message we should take away from this lesson. we should put part sonship
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aside for the common ghoosmed motion presents us with a clean stem visa program copied word for word from the underlying bill but without the unrelated measures. if it's true, mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is correct. the house will be in order. ms. lofgren: if it's true this vote is about creating stem visas and not about eliminating unrelated visa programs, you should vote for this motion. we should put words into action and vote far clean stem bill. as we know, this motion will only amend the bill, it will not kill the bill or send it back to committee. the bill will immediately proceed to final passage as amended. let's be clear a vote against this motion is a vote against stem video sass. it says you care more about eliminating the diversity visa program than about getting a stem visa program. eliminating the diversity visa
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program has nothing to do with stem visas. it's an unfortunate attack on immigrants and minorities and has no place in the stem by it's also remarkably tone deaf considering the recent elections just three weeks ago. minority and immigrant communities sent a powerful message to our friends on the other side of the aisle. our friends say they heard that message and acknowledge the need to reach out to those communities and take a different tack with tropt immigration. actions speak louder than words. if you want to reach out to minorities perhaps you shouldn't start with a bill that eliminates diversity video is as. if you want to reach out to immigrants, perhaps you should start with a bill that pits -- you shouldn't start with a bill that pits immigrant groups against each other. when we discuss offsets in the budget context it's about moneys and deficits and debt.
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here we're talking about people. is that who we are in this couldn't supply if you care about immigrants you know they help build our economy, they are not pawns in a zero sum game. the motion to recommit includes critical protections for u.s. workers absent from the underlying bill. we all acknowledge a stem visa program is important, it can grow our economy but sure hi it should not come at the expense of the salaries of american workers. we should not have a race to the bottom on wages. a lot of discussion today about the zero sum theory on which this bill has been presented seems to imply that unless you have a graduate degree you're not really going to contribute to this country. that's simply false. when you think about some of the great innovators, serge jay
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brinn, born in russia, co-founder of google in my county, that employs thousands and thousands of americans. he didn't come here because of his degree. he came with his parents. jerry yang, founder of yahoo, grew up in east san jose he didn't come because he got admitted to stanford he came with his family. andy grove, a legend at intel, didn't come because of his degree, he came as a refugee. i'm reminded of my grandfather and what he brought that country. at age 16, he got on a boat, he never saw his parents again. he never got a degree. i he came to america because he wanted to be free. he worked hard all his life. i was the first one, i went to stanford university, i was the first in my family to go to college. but i was -- i'm here today in congress because my grandfather, without an education, but with a lot of heart, with enough get up and
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go to get up and go came to become an american. i am sure that if you examined the history of so many members of congress you would find in their family tree people who had enough get up and go to come to the united states. we are now proud members of congress and that tradition of america. i urge you to support the motion to recommit. don't turn our backs on immigration. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from idaho seek recognition? >> i rise in opposition to the motion. >> the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. speaker, this motion to recommit is one more example of the democrats being unserious
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on immigration reform. we don't need to talk about the merits or whether it's good or bad policy. for my friends on the other side it's been good politics. before i came to congress i was an immigration attorney for 15 years. that was one of the finest 15 years of my life. i've seen how broken the system is and i've seen how few people there are on the other side who actually want to nix problems instead of just playing political football. mr. labrador: sadly, the captain of the political football team is sitting in the white house. actually, today, he is sitting somewhere else doing more politicking. actions speak louder than words. i actually agree with a majority -- the minority on this the president of the united states made a promise to fix a broken immigration system during his first term. a promise which he could have kept, by the way, without making a single compromise he had a majority of both houses of congress, a filibuster-proof
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majority, for two years, and he did absolutely nothing. the other side could have had 100% of what they wanted when they controlled the house, the senate was filibuster proof, and they had the president. when they wanted health care legislation, and they wanted good policy they passed it without any help from the republican party. but somehow they come here today and they claim that they could not pass immigration legislation during those first two years and that they actually want to do something about imgrigs reform. why didn't they solve it then? because the political football would have gone away, the game would have been over, and they would not have been able to play this political football game every two years. i want reform. i want no more games. so now we sit here in a familiar position. our side proposing solutions, their side asking for concessions. and each time we grant one
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concession, three more arise. this year, just this year, in this chamber, the president of the -- president of the united states said he wanted a stem bill he said that he -- it didn't have to be comprehensive. this was his exact quote. but if the election year politics keeps congress from acting on a comprehensive plan, let's at least agree to stop expeling responseable young people who want to staff our labs, start new piss, defend this country, send me a law that gives them the chance to earn their citizenship. i will sign it right away. my friends this is that bill. it is exactly what the president asked for. and what has he done now? he's pulled the football away again he now says this -- he says that in fact it does need to be comprehensive. the administration is deeply committed to building a 21st century immigration system that
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meets the nation's economic and security needs but it has to be comprehensive. he went from saying he didn't need a comprehensive pill to saying he needs a comprehensive bill he says now that he in fact needs comprehensive reform, when he said a year ago that he didn't. how co-i feel? i feel like charlie brown my friends, this is a good bill. the president continues to move the ball, the democrats continue to move the ball, every time republicans want to do something positive on immigration, on the economy, they keep moving the ball away from us. let's stop being charlie brown, my friends, this is a good bill, it would strengthen our economy, it will create jobs and it is exactly what the president asked for a year ago. let's call his bluff and send him a bill to create jobs and opportunities here in america. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion.
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those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. ms. lofgren: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 and clause 9 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote on the motion to recommit will be followed by five-minute votes on passage of h.r. 6429, ordered, and the approval of the journal if ordered. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 157, the nays are 231. the motion is not adopted. the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the bill is passed. >> mr. speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california requested the yeas and nays. those favoring a vote of the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation
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with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 245,
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the nays will 139, the bill is passed. without objection the motion to recommit is -- the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal which the chair will put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the journal stands approved.
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the speaker pro tempore: members will please take their conversations off the floor. the chair asks all members to clear the well.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek wreck anything? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for the purpose of inquiring of the majority leader the schedule for the week to come. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman will suspend one moment. the house will be in order. members will please take their conversations off the floor. the gentleman from maryland. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield to my friend, the former majority leader -- i guess he's still the majority leader, but the newly elected majority leader for the next congress, and congratulate him on his election. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman from maryland for being the former democratic whip and now the new democratic whip for yielding to me. mr. speaker, on monday the house will neat at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for
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legislative business. no votes are expected on monday evening in order -- mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i'm having trouble hearing the majority leader myself. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. mr. cantor on monday the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. no votes are expected on monday evening in order to accommodate the annual white house holiday congressional ball. on tuesday, the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business. on wednesday, the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. last votes of the week are expected no later than 3:00 p.m. on wednesday. members are advised that this is a change from the original house calendar. mr. speaker, the house will consider a number of bills under suspension of the rules next week. a complete list of which will be announced by the close of business tomorrow.
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as members are aware, the house has numerous outstanding legislative items that we are actively working to resolve. first and foremost is the resolution to the so-called fiscal cliff. we are also waiting action from the senate on items like the annual defense and intelligence authorization bills and extension of fisa, and others. negotiations on these and many other issues will continue regardless of the daily legislative business of the house, and members are advised that we will not adjourn the 112th congress until a credible solution has been found that meets these challenges. finally, mr. speaker, the 2013 house calendar is now publicly available at majority leader. gov. the house will convene the 113th congress at noon on january 3 and we will be in session for a total of 126 days.
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i thank the gentleman and yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. i appreciate his observation with reference to a number of pieces of legislation that are pending. and as he mentions in his comments, the fiscal cliff, of course, is of concern not only to us but the entire country. the negotiations as the majority leader points out are ongoing and hopefully will bear fruit and hopefully will bear fruit in the short term. mr. leader, there are, however, some steps that we could take, i think, that would alleviate some of the concerns and apprehensions that do exist in the country. as you know, we have discussed before, the middle class tax cut, that is under the $250,000 that has been the object of discussion in the election, and continues to be the object of
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discussion here, i'm wondering whether or not given some of the comments that have been made, i know by mr. cole, tom cole, your former chairman of the campaign committee, republican campaign committee, and others, and the president's comments that i don't see scheduled but would urge consideration, mr. leader, of the senate passed bill which will assure 98% of americans that they will not receive a tax increase on january 1. i don't see that on your list. i'm wondering if the majority leader could comment on whether it is possible for us to take up that senate bill to give assurance to the 9 % of the people who -- 98% of the people who will be affected by that bill. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman and in direct response to the gentleman's question.
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it is not the intention of the majority leader to bring forward to the floor that bill for several reasons. first of all, madam speaker, the notion of increasing tax rates in an economy that still is struggling, where we have entirely too many americans out of work, is something anathema to a job creating future. secondly, madam speaker, raising tax rates, asking americans, small businesses to pay more of their money into washington when washington cannot seem to get a handle on its spending problem, will just make matters worse. we've got to stop the spending madness. as the gentleman knows, that is very much what this majority has been about. we want to finally provide the fix to some of the entitlement problems, the unfunded
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obligations that we continue to incur daily in this country. madam speaker, it is not the intention for us to vote to increase tax rates on anybody in this failing economy, but we do look forward to continuing in our discussions with the administration, with the white house, the speaker and i met with secretary geithner yesterday in hopes of trying to find some common ground so we can avoid the fiscal cliff so we can get back on to a road of confidence and job creation in this economy. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments, madam speaker. i would just observe that the senate bill that i was referring to doesn't raise taxes on anybody. in fact, what it does is it ensures that no taxes will be raised on 98% of americans. doesn't refer to the other 2%, as i understand the bill, it
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simply recludes taxes from being increase -- precludes tax from being increased pursuant to the republican passed bills which sunsetted the tax rates that currently exist for those 98% of the people. from that standpoint i think the bill that i have been referring to, madam speaker, and i think the majority leader probably knows this, is not referred to those over 250, which is what i presume he's referring to. i might also observe as it relates to his response, madam speaker, bill kristol, who i think the majority leader probably knows pretty well, and who obviously is a very strong proponent of policies put forward by the majority leader's party, said, and i quote, it won't kill the country if we raise tax as little bit on millionaires. he said on "fox news sunday." it really won't, i don't thifment i don't really understand why republicans don't take obama's offer.
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we know the president of the united states -- i want to tell my friend, the majority leader, the president of the united states has said he is not going to sign a bill. he disagrees with your conclusion. i disagree with your conclusion. and that's what democracy is about. . the president of the united states has made it clear he won't sign a bill that reduces the tax obligations of those over $250,000 in the coming here. he won't sign that bill system of we can hold hostage the 98% which he will sign. which he believes like you ought not to go, the 98% of americans ought not to receive a tax increase because it would, from his perspective, dampen economic growth in this country.
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and now we have disagreement on the $250,000 and above. it's a legitimate disagreement. we can debate it on the floor and everybody can see where we stand. we believe that the majority agree with the president's and our proposition. but to say that we're not going to do something for the 98% because we don't want something to happen to the 2% which by the way is not in that bill but the gentleman is correct, nor are they included in that bill, the 2%. but i would urge my friend, we're having trouble getting to agreement. i think that's unfortunate. i think the gentleman, the majority leader and i both want to get to an ageement. we don't want to go over the fiscal cliff. that would be bad for the economy. we both think, i believe, i hope, that we need to have a balanced agreement so we will not go over the cliff that would be bat for -- bad for the country, bad for the american people, we don't want to do that. the gentleman in my view doesn't not want to do that.
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put one way to give some confidence which is very important to the growth of the economy, is to assure, as tom cole, your former chairman of the republican campaign committee, said just the other day, and i believe you're -- in i believe your web meeting that he believes that this ought to be done. we ought to give the 98% assurances. we can debate and the prevailing side will win. but i don't think there's disagreement on the 98%. i think we agree on that as i said before the election and i said after the election, we need to move forward on that. that's something that i think -- on which you and i can agree, the democrats and republicans in this house can agree, that the senate an agree
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to. there was a bipartisan vote to let that bill come to the floor. i would hope we could at least do that so we can give at least that on which we agree the opportunity to move forward. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i thank my friend. where we don't agree is asking anyone to pay more out of their paycheck to washington when washington seems to be incapable of getting hold of its spending problem. which is why, madam speaker, we continue to ask those present in the gos to be specific with us. we want to address the problem. we realize we are digging the hole deeper every day. and the taxpayers are on the hook.
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that's why we say it is now not the time to ask anyone to pay money into washington when we keep increasing the debt the way we are. and so there is not agreement that we ought to raise taxes. there's not agreement at all until we get the problem fixed. that's all. so we can see eye to eye on this but let's all start where we know we've got to go which is addressing the spending problem and then finally we could perhaps fulfill the promise of rebuilding the confidence that people need to have in this federal government. i yield back. mr. hoyer: madam speaker, i don't know that i'm making myself clear. the senate bill raises taxes on nobody. nobody.
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the senate bill simply says, for those making less than $ 2000 -- making less than $200,000 individualry or $250,000 as a couple will not receive a tax increase. the gentleman says we're not in agreement -- mr. cantor: will the gentleman yield? madam speaker, just imagine that those individuals the gentleman likes to say are perfectly willing and capable of pay manager taxes, the small business man or woman who may make over $200,000 a year individually that individual will see a tax increase come january. if that bill is passed or nothing is dope. so madam speaker, i know that the gentleman can be technical in his argument and say there's no tax increase but the end of fact of passing that bill as if
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it resolves a matter would mean an increased tax bill for a small business man or woman a working man or woman, at that income level. so let's be honest about what the impact of saying that that bill is the final resolution here. the gentleman knows that is correct. so again, we've been through this. all i would say, madam speaker, to the gentleman, is we are earnest in our desire to want to resolve things and we are earnest in our statement that we don't want to go over the fiscal cliff. we've got to come together and solve this problem. allowing tags tack -- tacks to go up on a certain portion of the population doesn't just fix the problem. the problem is in the spending. and the gentleman knows that. he's been a real committed deficit hawk he continues to say, we've got to pay for what we buy. well, we bought these incredible entitlement programs and they've got to be sustained
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for the people relying on them which is why we want to save them. that's solving the problem. that's where we need to go in this. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the secret for yielding back. madam speaker, again, the gentleman says i'm technical -- technically correct, i presume that means i'm correct. the bill i'm asking to be brought to this floor to pass will not raise anybody's taxes. what the gentleman is saying is unless we deal with the 2%, the 98% are going to be held hostage until such time as we deal with the 2% theasm problem with that in a democracy, we have a disagreement on that and as a matter of fact it was pretty clear to the american public that there was a very significant and unclouded, not confusing, difference between the two candidates for president on the very issue to which the gentleman speaks and the american people voted. and the gentleman, the president of the united states,
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who said no, i don't agree with that, won the election. he won the election. and he is saying, i'm not going to sign the bill on the $250,000 or above. my problem, mr. leader, is i understand your conclusion is that if you pass the 98%, that you won't have a bargaining chip with which to press your point on the over $200,000 individually, as you correctly observed. i understand that. but frankly, the bargaining chip is somewhat illusory in that the president said absolutely he will not sign that. why? because he wants to bring down the deficit. he wants to -- and has agreed to, and we've agreed to, over $1.7 trillion in spending cuts already for 2011, 2012, and 2013 and for the next decade.
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or at least until 2022. we've already agreed to that you press that, you were -- you pressed that, you were successful, we agreed on many of those. some we didn't agree on. but you had the votes, we needed to reach an agreement and we reached an agreement. we've cut almost $2 trillion of spending already. you're correct. we need to assure the fact that we pay for what we buy. and if we don't want to pay for it, my view is we shouldn't buy it. frankly, those tchash principle applies in my opinion to tax eexpenditures as well as to buying stuff. it all reduces your -- -- reduces your ability to pay for what you're buying. it's not that i'm technically correct, i'm correct. the bill i'm asking you to pass will simply give to the 98% of americans, taxpayers, the assurance that their taxes will
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not go up on january 1. if we dent don't pass it, they won't have that assurance. the confidence level will not be good. the stock market will be concerned. and yes, swreel to deal with the other 2%. that's clearly going to be part of the discussion. and i think ultimate resolution of the -- hopefully an agreement. but my presumption is the reason tom cole made that comment just a few days ago, and it's not like he's a back bencher, he's the former chairman of the republican campaign committee, said we ought to do this we ought to get it off the agenda to give the people confidence. he called it a christmas present to the 98%. i think it's a judgment that our economy will be better off if we do it. so to that extent -- i'd be glad to yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i don't want to belabor the point. but i didn't say the gentleman was technically correct, i said
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he's being technical in his argument. i then went and made the case that the real impact of what the gentleman is advocating is that taxes will go up on many people. those job creators and others. that was all. madam speaker, again, i understand -- mr. hoyer: if i can, there are a couple of other issues i know the gentleman indicated, didn't include one, i think you didn't include the farm bill. can you tell me what you think the stat toufs the farm bill, as you know, again, we have an issue where the farm bill passed 64-35 in the senate, 16 republicans voted for it and frankly the farm bill in this house passed out of your committee 35-11 on a bipartisan vote. that's not been brought to the floor. can the gentleman tell me what he thinks is going to happen to the farm bill? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i tell the gentleman, the speaker and i both said we will deal with the issue of the farm bill or the
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issue of -- the issue in and around the farm bill before leaving this year. i would tell the gentleman, it is our sense that the farm bill, in being brought to the floor, in regular order, does not have the votes to pass this house. and we understand the importance of the issues surrounding the farm bill and working with chairman lucas. and others. on both sides of the capitol. we look forward to hope any reaching some type of resolution on issues surrounding the farm bill prior to leaving this year. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that response. i'm hopeful that we can in fact proceed on that. farmers of america and obviously if we don't pass something by december 31, on january 1, price support pricers in federal government will go up very dramatically as the gentleman knows and it will have an impact on spending and
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i know the gentleman and i are both concerned about that. next to last issue, just two more issues quickly if i can, mr. leader. we talked about the violence against women act. we passed a bill through this house that was passed essentially on a part sab basis. they passed a bipartisan bill in the senate, violence against women and domestic violence of is an ep democrat nick some respects in this country. i'm hopeful that we might consider taking up the senate bill again because that passed in such an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis in the senate. i would suggest to the gentleman that it may well pass on a bipartisan basis here as well. the problem as you know from my perspective and our side of the house bill is that you exclude a number of people. the problem with excluding people, for instance, undocumented immigrants, from being able to come forward and
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have a sense of safety and security in doing, is that the abuser of the undocumented immigrant left unaccountable may well be the abuser of a citizen or child in this country either as a citizen or here legally. there are we think there ought to be oa -- a broader coverage and apparently the senate shares that view. every republican woman and democratic woman voted for that bill in the nat -- in the senate. does the gentleman have any idea whether either we could go to conference on that bill or whether or not we might bring the sthath bill up for passage? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i tell the gentleman, madam speaker, that the chair is actually the author of the house bill and the house bill was passed out of this house, it has broad support, it was a bill that did not intend to target any
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specific group, it tried to streamline the grant making process so that the benefits designed to address the needs of apused women and others could reach the victims. and i am committed to seing if we can get this bill done. the gentleman knows, madam speaker, that the senate bill has a blue slip problem. the senate's bill is not over here. so we continue to negotiate and discuss ways for us to resolve this prior to the end of the year. the vice president and i have even spoken because it's an issue very near and deer to -- tear to his heart, to see how we can resolve this. i commit to the gentleman that i am looking to see this resolved and passed by the end of the year and to see where we can -- if we can land in a way that preserves most of what that bill is about that we can
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have in common, rather than emphasizing the areas of difference. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman and thank the speaker for her leadership on this issue but i thank the gentleman for his assurance that he's focus odden this, going to work on it. i look forward to working with him on this bill which i think is a very important bill for us to get passed before we leave here. lastly, obviously all of us know that sandy visited the -- hurricane sandy visited extraordinary damage on a large portion of the northeast. i come from maryland and we were not very substantially damaged but obviously new jersey, new york, and connecticut in particular, can the gentleman tell me, i know the administration has -- administration has not come down with a number that number i presume will be well north of $50 billion, but this is one of , in terms of the estimates being made, one of the five
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most damaging storms to hit the coast of the united states of america. i'm wondering whether or not the gentleman might have in mind doing some interim at a figure substantially below what we know will be the ultimate figure and in the next three weeks before christmas and then could the gentleman tell me whether or not if we can do that, whether or not the gentleman would require that it be offset and i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: madam speaker, i tell my friend that the best policy is to rely on the administration and fema to come up with the most accurate prediction of what the cost are before we move. so that would be in response to the first part of his question. secondly, as the gentleman knows, when we passed the budget control act last year, it had in it the mechanisms to
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actually budget for disaster relief. and imposing a formula of a 10-year rolling average, allowing for the preservation, if you will, of those dollars dedicated to disasters was what we accomplished there. and it is that process that is much different than prior to the b.c.a., and i think obviates the need for the discussion he wants to engage in with regards to offsets. i yield back. mr. hoyer: all right. lastly, let me ask you, mr. nadler has a resolution, i think mr. grimm and mr. king -- i'm not sure they're on the resolution but i presume they're on the resolution as well, so it's a bipartisan resolution, expressing condolences to those who were devastated not only in terms of property but some, of course,
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loss of family members and life, whether or not that resolution might be brought to the floor so that this house could express its regrets and condolences and sympathy with those who were so devastated. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i tell the gentleman, we did observe a moment of silence in those who lost their lives in that horrific storm to hit the east coast of the united states. certainly all of us, our thoughts, our prayers, our sorrows go out to the loved ones who have lost family members, friends in that awful tragedy of a storm. i am not -- i have not looked at mr. nadler's bill but i will do so. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. -- mr. hoyer: madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek
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recognition? mr. cantor: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at noon on monday next for morning hour debate and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. culberson of texas for today, ms. donna edwards for today, mr. fatah of pennsylvania for today, -- mr. fattah of pennsylvania for today and mr. hastings of florida for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted.
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under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. scott: thank you, madam speaker. and on behalf of the congressional black caucus, we'd like to discuss the fesscal cliff and our position on the -- fiscal cliff and our position on the ongoing negotiations. we didn't get here, madam speaker, by accident. i was elected in 1992 and in the 1993 budget we addressed fiscal responsibility by passing the clinton budget. it was very controversial. in fact it only passed by one vote in the house, and the vice president had the vote in the senate to break the tie. but that budget us on a trajectory towards fiscal responsibility. it was interrupted by a
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controversy in 1995 when the republicans, using the votes on that budget, picked up a majority in the house and tried to dismantle that budget. president clinton allowed the government to get shut down rather than dismantle the budget. that budget stayed into effect until 2001. in 2001 chairman greenspan was answering questions like, are we paying off the national debt too quickly, should we pay off the national debt. the projections were by 2008 the entire national debt held by the public would be paid off. no money owed to china, japan, saudi arabia. we would have paid off all those debts. all the money would be back in the trust funds by 2013. that's where we were the beginning of 2001, but the republicans talked people into thinking you could pass tax cuts without paying for them. massive tax cuts. 2001 and 2003, two wars not paid for, prescription drug benefit not paid for, all of
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that surplus evaporated and now we find ourselves deeply in debt. rather than paying off the debt, we've more than doubled the debt. now it's more than obvious we have to do something about it, and the congressional black caucus is willing to do its part within certain parameters. this is the congressional black caucus position on going forward. excessive partisanship and a lack of willingness to compromise have led us to this moment where tough choices must be made to prevent our nation from going over the fiscal cliff. but one thing is clear. the path to fiscal sustainability must not be made on the backs of our nation's must vulnerable communities. as president obama and congressional leaders continue to negotiate ways to avoid the fiscal cliff, the congressional black caucus will adhere to the following principles in considering its support of any agreement.
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first, we must protect our social safety net. social security should be completely off the negotiating table since it doesn't add to the deficit. additionally, the congressional black caucus will oppose any plans that changes eligibility for medicare. investments in job training, education, health care, transportation and infrastructure should not be cut to pay for the extension of any of the bush-era tax cuts. these vital government investments are critical to our nation's short-term recovery and long-term economic prosperity. the simpson-bowles commission set a goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. considering that goal, $1.5 trillion in cuts have already been agreed to through the spending caps in the budget control act of 2011. nondefense discretionary spending as a percentage of g.d.p. is at a 50-year low. additional savings through military operations in iraq and
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afghanistan should also be recognized. so we've gone a long way in recognizing the $4 trillion goal. now, the wealthiest americans disproportionately benefited from the bush-era tax cuts and the 2008 bailout of some of the firms on wall street. revenue increases and allowing the bush-era tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest of americans must be part of any agreement. the congressional black caucus supports extending the middle-class bush-era extension but it must be paid for which is consistent with these principles. we should not agree to the extension of any tax cuts without knowing how we will pay for them. we cannot allow an extension of tax cuts now only to discover they will be paid for by cutting social security, medicare, medicaid and other critical social safety net programs later. affordable care act should not be on the negotiating table.
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the program does not add to the debt and must be protected and fully implemented as planned. millions of americans are already benefiting from health care reform, and millions of americans stand to gain access to affordable health care insurance in 2014. emergency unemployment insurance must be extended. every dollar spent on unemployment insurance, it generates $1.55 in economic activity. unemployment benefits are the most effective fiscal policy to stimulate the economy and put persons back to work. our economy is slowly recovering from the deepest recession since the great depression, and two million workers will be stripped of their emergency unemployment compensation if no action is taken by the end of the year. earlier this year the congressional black caucus offered an effective alternative budget that addresses the sequester and fully pays for an extension of bush-era middle-class tax cuts without cutting social security, medicare, medicaid and the social safety net while
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also ensuring we invest in our children, our communities and our economy. we can get this done if we do this consistent with the congressional black caucus principles. the vulnerable will not be heard. we're close but we cannot agree to any kind of scheme that puts us in a situation where we extend tax cuts now and then later find that we're going to pay for them on the backs of the most vulnerable in our community. i now yield such time as she may consume to the gentlelady from wisconsin, a very active member of the budget committee, ms. moore. ms. moore: well, thank you so much, mr. scott. i would start out by asking you to yield to a question, mr. scott, because i have heard prior to our discussion here with the congressional black caucus hour, we heard the majority leader and the
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minority whip discussing spending. i just want some clarification. are providing tax cuts to anyone, but especially to the top 2%, is that spending? mr. scott: when you're talking about the budget, there are two sides of the ledger. if you spend more you should tax more. if you less in taxes you should have less in spending. that's how you balance the budget. now, one of the problems we've had for the last few years is people think you can have a tax cut don't have to cut anything. and the discussion of which -- how much tax extension you can afford, that discussion is almost unrelated to the spending cuts. if you want to extend more tax cuts, then you have to cut more spending. and people talk about it like they're unrelated, that you can cut it off at $500,000 rather than $ 50,000. if you ex-- $250,000.
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if you extend tax cuts, you have to cut 10% across the board to make up for lost revenue. at some point people should conform their statements to fundamental principles of arithmetic. and this is what we've goten away from, and this is what the -- goten away from, and this is what the -- gotten away from and this is what the congressional black caucus came up with. the surcharge on millionaires, investment income like regular income, naming specific corporate loopholes that can be closed, we show how you can easily come up with the amount of money that's left in the $4 trillion after the $1.5 trillion in cuts and after the war savings and after the expiration of the upper income bush-era tax cuts, we can fill the gap. name the spending cuts. this is where you have trouble. we've heard about reduce the
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size of government with unspecified cuts. well, that's sounds good until you start specifying them. last time the republicans had a budget, reducing the size of government, they cut almost $300 million out of embassy security. embassy security. that's what they mean by reducing the size of government. usually what they mean is social security and medicare. but whatever they mean, name it. we don't want to be in a position where we've extended tax cuts and then come back next year and say, oh, now we're broke. we have to cut social security and medicare. if that's what you're going to with the tax cut, then do that on deciding if we want the tax cut or not. i think most people would say, if your goal is cutting social security and medicare, we don't need the tax cut that bad. as a matter of fact that's how the scheme works. the only way to cut social security and medicare is to get people to go for the tax cut now and then come back and say,
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you're so broke, we need so much money, that the only place you can get it is social security and medicare. so let's get this upfront. let's do it all at once. we know what tax cuts will be extended and we know how they're going to pay for them. we're not going to get tricked later on by people coming up, saying we've got to cut social security and medicare because we extended the tax cuts. this is one of the problems we get into. they will not name the programs that are getting cut, they won't name when they talk about corporate loophole they don't say what they are. ms. moore: if you would yield further, just for my understanding, and for my constituents to appreciate the scope of this problem. if we were to cut w.i.c. and head start and meals on wheels for elders and the low income heating -- we are made to
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believe that if we were to put all these kinds of programs on the table, we could maintain the bush era tax cuts, we could maintain most of the unequal treatment of dividends and corporate gains and then we would be just fine. we could find $4 trillion in pell grants and head start moneys. am i missing something here? mr. scott: if you look at the budget and if you take out social security and medicare and medicaid. and defense. and just look at what's call the -- called the nondefense discretionary budget, that's about round figures $400 billion. 23 you're trying to get $4 trillion in cuts, in 10 years, that's $400 billion a year. you'd have to eliminate government. there'd be no embassy security new york f.b.i. agents, no food
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inspection, no federal prisons, no f.b.i., no head start, no aid to education. ms. moore: no fina, highway spending. mr. scott: no fema. nothing. ms. moore: except tax cuts. mr. scott: you would have to cut everything to fund tax cuts. if you extend the tax cuts without offsetting with over revenues you have to go into social security and medicare. that's why ewhen they talk about reduce the size of government that's why they can't tell you what they're going to cut. they can't cut that much. when they talk about cutting corporate loopholes, they can't tell you what they are because they don't add to that much. ms. moore: mr. scott, thanks for that background.
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i want to set the record straight. on the hike that the greant old party is leading us to believe, that number one extending tax cut the bush era tax cuts is not spending. it is exactly spending. and that is -- and the belief, the faulty belief that our, you know, our spending on safety net programs is driving our debt. social security does not drive the debt. and this really, i think, mr. scott, you have really led us into a clearer understanding of grover norquist's claims that they really want to do away with government. they want to, quote, shrink government down to a size so small that they could drown it in a bathtub. they don't want to recognize
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the important role of government. they don't want clean air, clean water, food inspection, they want laissez-faire and for corporate activity. now, our debt and deficits have been driven by undeniable obvious factors. we've had a deep and ongoing recession based on an unregulated wall street. we've had expensive, drawn out war the longest war in the history of this country, we're still in the midst of. and of course the unpaid for, bush era tax cuts that have benefited primarily the wealthiest americans and of course an unpaid for
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entitlement program and while we do appreciate the prescription drug program for seniors, mr. scott, the greatest beneficiary of that program -- beneficiaries of that program are the pharmaceutical companies because they get undue profit from not negotiating on the critical mass that this population provides them, the savings from that program, so if they want to talk about entitlement reform, i think a good place to start would be negotiating for prescription drugs provided through medicare and also recapturing millions, billions of dollars for overpayment in the insurance premiums under medicare advantage. advantage goes to those insurance companies.
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our debt and our deficit have not been driven by children attending head start. our debt and deficit have not been driven by seniors receiving meals on wheels. our debt and deficit have not been driven by students participating in the trio program or receiving pell grants. and yet we continue to hear the grant old party say that we have got to put these programs on the chopping block so that we can continue tax breaks for the top 2% of americans. now, members of the congressional black caucus, believe it or not, do not agree 100% on how to solve the so-called fiscal cliff situation. but, there is 100% agreement,
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100% agreement, among congressional black caucus leaders, that we do not want an austerity cliff where we have -- where this leads to increased poverty and exacerbates the hardship for low and middle class families. and that the wealthiest individuals and corporations should have to pay their fair share of taxes. as a member of the budget committee and the democratic chair of the congressional caucus for women's issues, i have a lot of thoughts on the fiscal cliff negotiations. first of all, we must include a robust extension of federal unemployment benefits for workers. mr. scott, has there ever been a time when the unemployment rate, 7.%, has ever been this high and on a bipartisan basis,
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on a bipartisan basis, this congress has not provided extended unemployment basis for workers? mr. scott: if the gentlelady would yield. the practice that we would -- it is generally the practice we would extend emergency unemployment compensation for longer than normal every time the rate gets high. and it's an smorge it's not offset that is the usual situation and the problem with this recession is a disproportionately high portion of the unemployeed are long-term unemployed. people that have been unemployed for a long time. they've been -- they're experiencing even insult to injury because a lot of employers are discriminating against people who do not have jobs. so if you apply and don't have a job, they won't consider your application. if you do have a job, they will consider you. if you've been out of a job and are trying to get a job, it's harder to get a job.
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those people traditionally worked, want a job, looking for a job. unfortunately the economy is such that you have three or four people looking for every job that's out there. so what happens, a lot of people are going to be left out. and in the meanwhile, the question is what happens? if you provide unemployment compensation for them, one of the things that happens is they spend the money into the economy as soon as they get it. so it is one of the most effective, you put a dollar snee unemployment compensation, economic activity is about $1.55. if you give a dollar tax cut on dividends, the economic activity is about 15 cents. because of people getting -- because people getting that benefit will spend what they'd ordinarily spend, pay off a credit card or save some money, but they won't spend the money. you want the money in the hands of people who are going to actually spend it if you want the economy stimulated. ms. moore: thank you for that, mr. scott. that's a major point that
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unemployment compensation extension is -- it would provide the great stimlative impact not only for those people who are desperately in need of it but for our economy at home. we often hear so much about how people love the little children and i guess there's only one way to show it in these discussions. the congressional black caucus agrees that we need to maintain some of the provisions that are expiring under the american recovery and reinvestment act, the so-called stimulus. that's the child tax credit, and the earned income tax credit. the austerity, mr. scott, that we're trying to avoid, is that children bear the burden of this recession. they are often hidden faces, they don't vet, they don't contribute to campaigns, but we
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thought, the congressional black caucus, thought it was really important to put on the table the need to protect children. again, we don't think social security should be on the table in these fiscal cliff discussions. not the driver of the deficit, and further down the line, we think it's important to not mess with the age or switch to the chain c.p.i. or any other cuts that would affect beneficiaries. mr. scott: would the gentlelady yield? ms. moore: i yield. mr. scott: people caulk about increasing the age of social security or cost of living increase, the first question is whether or not you're going to cut social security. and then if you decide to cut social security, the different -- there are different ways to have doing it. some more painful than others. but the first question is, are you cutting social security? but part of the question is, why? if none of the tax cuts get
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extended, at this point you have more money than you need on the table system of the only reason you're even discussing a cut in social security is because you want to extend the tax cut. now i think most people when they're faced with the choice, do you want social security to be a piggy bank every time we're running short in the budget, going to cut a little social security or medicare or medicaid, or are you going to make that a piggy bank every time you have a budget problem? if you extend tax cuts, you have to pay for them out of social security. i think most people want us to leave social security, medicare, and medicaid alone. leave it alone. if you've got enough money the tax cuts, fine. but don't extend the tax cuts and think you're going to pay for it out of social security and medicare. that's the choice we have. because the entire discussion about medicare is only necessitated by the fact that people are trying to extend these tax cuts. if you extend the tax cuts, then you have to pay for it. we're talking arithmetic.
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if you send trillions of dollar this is, -- in tax cuts the only place you can reasonably get eit, social security and medicare, unless you raise other taxes to offset it. and the congressional black caucus has taken the position that we don't want any tax cuts that are paid for, if you've got to cut social security, medicare, medicaid, the social safety net or investments in our future like research and infrastructure. we don't need tax cuts that badly. we need those investments more than we need tax cuts. so when we start talking about the different ways of cutting social security, we need to make sure that it's in the context. we're talking about cutting social security in order to preserve the tax cuts. ms. moore: let me ask you about preserving the tax cuts. the president campaigned for a couple of year bus particularly last year on cutting tax cuts for income over $250,000.
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so am i to understand that that means that millionaires and billionaires will still be getting a tax cut, were they to agree to this framework? mr. scott: they would get a tax cut on their income up to $250,000. their income over $250,000 they would not enjoy the bush era tax cuts. they would be paying the same taxes they were paying when the stock market was -- under the clinton administration when the stock market almost quadrupled, the dow jones industrial average almost quadrupled. under the lower tax rate, the dow jones industrial average was incredibly worse at the end of eight years than at the beginning. quadrupling under clinton, worse under bush, than it was at the beginning. job creation records under the clinton administration when you had the higher rate, under the
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bush administration, the only measure you're looking at, is it or is it not the worst since the great depression? obviously those who are paying the high rate have more of a financial interest in the stock market because there's a little bit of tax increase we're talking about, they will more than offset that by the stock market going up like it did under the clinton administration. if you look at the taxes they saved under bush, if they could have gotten the returns on the stock market under clinton they would have gotten 10 to 20 times more returns in the stock market than they played in lower taxes. ms. moore: we have heard people panicking saying, boy, between me and my husband, our household, we make $252,000 a year. what do we pay to someone, a family earning $252,000 a year, that you're going to pay the
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higher tax rates on $2,000 of your income? mr. scott: exactly right. it probably would not result in any change in the withholding because of that little bit of money. and they would have all the tax cuts up to the first $250,000, and they would pay a slightly additional tax on the additional $2,000. and one of the things we need to point out, with a stagnant economy, most workers haven't gotten the cost of living increase in a long time. if we can improve the economy, create jobs, improve the economy such that morse think people might actually walk off the job and go get another job, they are more likely to get a cost of living increase. that cost of living increase is more than the additional taxes we're talking about in most cases. ms. moore: thank you, mr. scott. i have many, many questions for you about what the options are,
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about what we can do. i know that the congressional black caucus doesn't agree on everything, but it seems to me that the congressional plaque caucus is very concerned about the math adding up. mr. scott: and that's exactly the problem. when you start talking about reducing the size of government with unspecified cuts or revenue increases that are not rate increases but revenue increases, whatever that means, without specifying, we don't know if it's arith matcally possible -- arithmetically possible, but if you get health care insurance, you don't have to pay income tax on that. mortgage deduction, charitable deductions, i mean, the kinds of things we probably wouldn't want to cut in order to fund some tax cuts, but the congressional black caucus did
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talk about defer of overseas corporate profits. if you eliminate that exemption, it's about half a trillion. 5% surcharge on millionaires, that's about half a trillion. when you buy stocks and bonds, pay a little over .25% charge on that. now, before the discount brokers, people would be paying 1% or %. now a little over .25%. that's something that can be done. limit the dedouble thibility of corporate debt interest. that's -- deductibility of corporate debt interest. that's about three quarters of a trillion. i mean, there are a lot of things that we can do to add up to get to the little bit of money we need left. negotiating prices on pharmaceuticals. ms. moore: this is exactly where i wanted to go. i wanted to talk about -- people are very nervous about this discussion of the republicans continuing to say
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that we need to put medicare on the table and i know during the campaign they talked about creating a voucher, premium support under medicare which would have cost seniors on average $6,000 more. mr. scott: about $500 a month more for health care than they're paying now. that was the plan. ms. moore: how does that differ from possibilities that are available under the affordable care act? under the affordable care act, which is really ironic because if you want to derive some savings under medicare -- and i have no reason to believe that republicans don't want to do that -- why would they continue to be talking about not -- governors all over the country talking about not putting the exchanges together in their states, still some sort of agenda to repeal medicare, what
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savings can be derived out of medicare from full implementation of the affordable care act, so-called obamacare? mr. scott: one of the things that obamacare did was to provide for those on medicare, you get your annual checkups, there's no co-pays in cancer screenings, no co-pays for deductibles. we're closing the doughnut hole. under the romney plan, because they're paying providers more, your co-pay part of that provider fee is more, so your co-pay and the deductible will be more. those are for people over 55. people under medicare would pay more under the alternative than they are paying today. if you're under 55, you got your $500 a month every month trying to make your health care. because the thing is, if medicare is saving money and the health care costs do not go down, then somebody's got to
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pay the difference. adding insult to injury to that you have corporate profits, dividends and commissions and everything else being stipended off. so you not only have to pay the health care costs. you have to pay enough to cover the corporate profits. and so that's where senior citizens would be paying $500, $600 a year more. ms. moore: mr. scott, let me see if i got this straight. under the affordable care act, we're asking that instead of having seniors pay more, you know, find themselves in the doughnut hole, that we ask pharmaceutical companies to ask to negotiate drug prices, you know, over 10 years, that may be $156 billion, $157 billion. mr. scott: there's a provision in the printive drug benefits that passed about a decade ago
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that prohibits h.h.s. from negotiating prices. medicaid can negotiate prices. the v.a. can negotiate prices. but somehow, somebody -- i don't know who -- nobody's taken credit for it. kind of put it in there. prohibits h.h.s. from negotiating drug prices. so when a company says this is what we want, it is illegal for h.h.s. to point out that you're charging everybody else less. you charge in canada less. how about giving us a little savings. that's illegal. whatever they want, that's what they get. ms. moore: that would be a great reform under entitlement. another entitlement reform i'd just like for you to address that's in the affordable care act would be the so-called medicare advantage program. medicare advantage, i mean, who doesn't want an advantage? but the actual delivery of the service, to whom does the
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advantage grant? mr. scott: it gives you slightly enhanced benefits under medicare, and it was provided by medicare. and what the private sector says, we can provide those same services for a lower cost. if you let us get in at 95% of with a you're paying, everybody wins because we're saving money. that's a phantom saving but that was the original deal. by the time the prescription drug benefit, we're paying about 115%. more than the average. and all we're doing is saying, let's just pay the average. the insurance companies do have an advantage in their costs because there are ways of attracting a healthier clientele so their costs would be lower, not because of deficiency, but because they skewed a better, more healthier clientele and that's how they
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save money. but the -- what we did was reduce the -- their profit margin to the point where they have to be at least as efficient as medicare, not getting a bonus which doesn't help anybody. ms. moore: so i see, mr. scott, that representative sheila jackson lee has joined us. i want to close out by asking this last question to wrap up this. when the president talks about putting $480 billion of cuts on the table for medicare without knowing a lot of those details, a lot of that depends on not reducing beneficiaries -- benefits to the elderly but to make sure that pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies and in hospitals deliver services in a more
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efficient way, that people -- that the delivery -- that we change the way health care is delivered in a way that is efficient, more humane, cost-effective and deliver the same level of quality and benefits to the elderly, is that right? mr. scott: that's exactly what we did, much has been made of the $716 billion that was saved in medicare. corporate subsidies were part of it. deficiencies was part of it. not a dime in benefits was adversely affected. in doing that we also extended the solvency. medicare goes broke -- was going broke in four years. now it's 1 years. under the alternative plan -- now it's 12 years. under the alternative plan during the campaign, it would go back to four years. seniors on medicare now would be paying more. seniors, younger people when they get to medicare would pay a lot more and it goes broke quicker. that was what we were fighting
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and the president was re-elected and so medicare will not be attacked. but, again, when you talk about additional medicare cuts, we're just not cutting an abstract. those cuts are necessary because people want to extend the bush-era tax cuts. you do not extend the tax cuts, you do not have to discuss any cuts in medicare. these savings are designed to help pay for tax cuts. and people need to make the choice and recognize the choice. do you want to cut medicare in order to preserve some tax cuts? i think a lot of people with a say leave medicare alone. ms. moore: leave my medicare alone. mr. scott: and i'd yield such time as she may consume to the gentlelady from texas, ms. sheila jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: it's a delight to be with you, not a delight on this discussion that we're having. i want to thank the gentlelady from wisconsin for her leadership and membership on the budget committee and the
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gentleman from virginia on his leadership on the budget committee and delighted to be a member of the congressional black caucus and have a reasoned discussion and just pick up from where mr. scott was saying and just reinforce it. medicare is solvent. and let me just turn -- medicare is solvent. medicare is solvent. medicare is solvent. and it is strong. it is solvent until 2024. social security, which is not even an issue, has nothing to do with this deficit. it's a trust fund. more importantly, it is solvent until 2037. let me repeat myself that medicare is solvent, social security is solvent until 2037. that is really a lifetime. and the gentleman has made a very good point that i would like to pursue in discussing fiscal deadlines. i have washed my mouth out with soap and will no longer yield to terminology that has been used that is falsifying where
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we are. let me first go over -- and i'm going to mix some apples and oranges a little bit what the president has offered us. i know we've heard it, but let me reinforce the fact, and my numbers are going to be not precise but i'm going to say that 1.2, 1.1, over one trillion in tax cuts. then war dividend, peace dividend of about one trillion. i will say war savings. i have signed on to expedite the return of our heroes from afghanistan, move into the diplomatic process, bring our soldiers home and $50 billion in infrastructure that creates jobs. for those of you who find sinkholes for your cars, overcrowded on various freeways and highways, this is to aid in doing what we have not done over many decades, $50 billion. and then of course the
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mentioned medicare, and mr. scott has indicated that is the president's attempt to be the reasonable man even though on november 6, 2012, america spoke soundly and loudly that the idea of protecting the safety net of medicare, medicaid, social security is vital. i add to that unemployment insurance in terms of those who have been looking for jobs, that is crucially a lot of young people who started out with a job and then may not have had it. please note that insurance is just that, insurance and not a handout but a handup. many would be wiped out of the proposal that our friends insist on keeping when economists tell you several things. first of all, there is no documentation that in fact if
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you keep the cuts you'll create jobs. . there isn't any basis for that. first of all we take care of 97% of small businesses with income under $250,000. go up and down the streets of america on small business day and ask these small businesses what their income is. not what they take in. they pay employees, etc. they will not pay any taxes on income of $250,000. and then if you are hardworking $ 0,000 salary person, two workers in the family, $40,000, $40,000, $80,000, if you make $250, if you make $15 billion in salary or income, you will get a tax cut of $250,000. is that not the reasonable man and woman standard? is that not reasonable -- let me tell you why that's reasonable because as i have said most economists will tell you that first of all that cutting
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spending is not the answer in a recession as relates to the deficit. and so we are not insensitive to the deficit. we want to have a reasoned response to the deficit. the crisis is to ensure that middle america and low-income americans and young people with their start up jobs making a certain amount of money do not have enormous, if you will, tax increase as a -- they go into 2013. be very sure now this whole thing about going downhill doesn't exist because it's something of a slide. all of these things don't happen right at 2013. we have the time to be reasonable to deal with the tax cuts. to save people from having increases, meaning those earning $250,000 and below, and for the blessed and well-to-do, let me just say this is not any punitive measure and suggesting
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that we don't have the respect for people's wealth and well-to-do. what we are saying is where there's mutual benefit, there is a mutual burden. i haven't heard a cry out from anybody to say they would not welcome that balance. so then we have the opportunity, even though the president's put on the table, as the gentleman from virginia said, $400 billion, he indicates $480 billion, on the table. this whole bogeyman about entitlement reform is such a strawman. it's just something to throw out to the american people. the people on medicare and medicaid and social security are entitled ne'er-do-wells. that is not true. the people who get medicare and medicaid, social security, even unemployment insurance are people who have worked. they have worked. they have earned this. there are many ways we can look at these elements going forward. but the idea that we would throw this on the altar of sacrifice and cloud people's minds and
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tell them that they are in fact going to be the life of the answer of whether or not our good friends -- let me just say this. do this reasonable act of cutting the taxes of 100% of americans and eliminating the bush tax cuts for the 1% and 2%. let me just tell you, for those who think that they don't mind the cliff, i'm not sure who has been saying that and respent them for it, but said i wasn't going to say that, but you are talking about increasing taxes, you are talking about causing the loss of jobs, increasing taxes about $3,000 on the average family. you are talking about increasing unemployment from 7% to 7.9%, to
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about 9.1%. this is what we are playing with. let me give you something ems. the tax cuts that we have been paying for already, over a 10-year period, the extension, would cost $2.4 trillion. if anybody is serious about cutting the deficit, how nonsensical. what sense does that make? to continue these cuts. if they could document for me how these create jobs, then maybe we would be able to respond to it. does anybody realize and recognize that hurricane sandy came through? that one of the mayors, one of the largest cities, just here this week asking for an enormous infusion of dollars which we are merciful and recognize? why are we stalling on the simple process of eliminating the bush tax cuts of 2% of the individuals who have been particularly silent, because they recognize benefit and
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burden. and for our corporations who i have the greatest respect for capitalism. presently flush with cash. let me tell you what the instability is. the corporations, the businesses are saying tell us what the deal is. then we plan. we'll know what to do. so we will be able to stabilize, i hope they'll invest the money they already have, out into the market because there's still incentives for creating jobs. maybe if we passed the american jobs act we would do that. let me finish this point to my dear friend. i want to remind everybody that tomorrow is world aids day. and i want to remind people that over the lifetime, up to the end of 2005, 38.6 million people worldwide were living with aids, and more than 25 million people have died of aids since 1981. and so when -- a lot of people say that's behind us. what is she talking about
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hiv-aids? i know when i go into the thomas street clinic in houston, texas, that is not the case. i congratulate them for what they have done. but there are approximately a million to a million two positive individuals living in the united states and 56,000 new infections every year. why am i saying that? because when we think of discretionary funding, it's a nebulous term. what does it mean? mr. reid rightly asked, my good friends on the other side of the aisle, what spending cuts are you talking about? it was the invention of the federal government with the ryeant white treatment act and research regarding hiv-aids that have helped people like those who are hemophiliacs and others in the large population, that means that everybody gets it. it's not a stigma. everybody is possibly susceptible to it. where would we be without that intervention of the federal government? so in the shadow of honoring those who have lost their lives in this almost terrible
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epidemic, which is tomorrow, to be able to thank those who have bonn -- done the research and improved the quality of life of those living with hiv-aids and saying to those millions who lost their lives that we will not forget. that's what this debate is about. it is about rental income for poor people. by the way those poor people are working people. it is about supplemental nutrition dollars for women and children. i would not call them the deadbeats of life. those who speak on the floor about national security and border security, do you realize that we would be cutting $823 million from customs and border protection? these are the roles and responsibilities of the federal gotcht -- federal government. rather than take, if you will, a frivolous perspective on this, rather than tell people you
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can't do anything before 2013, rather than suggest that entitlements are laid upon the table as -- on the altar of sacrifice, just tell the american people the truth. let's just tell them the truth. entitlement is not the issue. and if so, who can sit down and engage the american people and tell us how many seniors in nursing homes do he we want to throw out in the street? what options do they have? maybe we'll begin to talk about health care. that's ok. but you don't talk about home care over night. you have to be deliberative. and then who wants to make a fuss about medicare when it's solvent until 2024? again, abusing the information given to the american people. who wantses to make a fuss about social security when it's solvent? and it's about -- you earned it. so to, mr. scott, my call today
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is to thank you for giving us this opportunity as i speak to my constituents, i indicate we are immersed in these kinds of discussions. and i am hoping, as i said i am an optimist and believe that cool heads will come together, we'll be back next week. we'll be talking to our constituents over the next couple of days. i'm looking at a sheet that has a number of revenue options that i'm going to be studying. that means that i am not in any way taking the serious work of the deficit for granted. but i do want to put a firewall around hysteria and put the hysteria over here and get the work with eliminating the tax cuts for the top 2%. give everybody a $250,000 income tax break, and then in a thoughtful manner look at the -- a number of ways and join with the president on saying it's
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valuable to do something about infrastructure, it's valuable to count on the savings and bring our troops home, heroes with honor. i passed an amendment to do that, to honor every returning soldier that comes home. i thank the gentleman from virginia for his service, but also for the work that you have been doing on this issue. i think it looked like -- i hope i'm not too animated but let me end on a very quiet note. i am calm and i believe that we can be deliberative and responsible in our thinking. i look forward to that occurring. i yield to the gentleman. mr. scott: thank you. mr. speaker, just in closing, the gentlelady pointed out that bad things happen if we go over the cliff. bad things are going to happen if we get serious about deficit reduction. the only thing -- the only way you can deal with deficit reduction is to raise somebody's taxes or cut somebody's spending. it's going to be unpleasant. until you recognize that
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reality, we are not going to make any progress. you are not going to be popular doing deficit reductions. but we have choices to make, and we can do this without cutting social security, medicare, medicaid and social safety nets, or investments in our future. we have had -- we have a list of ways of doing it with specifics. now, we are willing to compromise, of course, but you can't compromise with reducing the size of government with unspecified cuts. until you specify them you can't have a discussion. you can't have unspecified revenues that don't involve rate increases. you can't compromise on that because there's nothing -- no proposal to compromise. we need specifics and we cannot allow people to get -- try to get past the scheme where you -- where you extend the tax cuts at a huge flight and then come back next year and try to pay for them and know that you're so broke you have to cut social
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security and medicare. if that's your plan, let's get it all up front. we are going to cut social security and medicare in order to provide for some tax cuts. i think most people would say, no. leave social security, medicare, medicaid alone. if you got somebody left over for tax cuts, fine. but we do not want social security, medicare, and medicaid to be cut in order to provide for -- when we start talking about increase the age or reduce the cola, those are just ways of reducing benefits. so we need to make that threshold statement that we are not going to allow social security, medicare, medicaid to be used to pay for any of these tax cuts. and we are not aloug a thing to take place where we all agree on tax cuts first and then find out that because of the size of the tax cuts we got to cut social security and medicare. let's figure this all out at once. it can be done.
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there are some tough choice that is have to be made and the congressional black caucus has shown how those choices can be made with specifics in their various documents. mr. speaker, i appreciate the opportunity to have this moment to discuss the congressional black caucus position on the fiscal cliff. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from georgia, mr. woodall, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. i very much appreciate that. before my colleague from virginia leaves the floor, i plan to spend most of my hour disagreeing most of what he spent his last hour on but what he said at the very end was so accurate and so infrequently said here on capitol hill and
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that is, there are no good options left. if you have over $1 trillion budget and you want to balance that budget, you are either raising somebody's taxes or you are cutting somebody's spending. there's no easy solution to that problem. it's not going to go away on its own and we'll have to find a way to parch that. by we i don't mean the 435 of us, i mean the 315 million of us across the country. . the -- what i have here, what i have here, mr. speaker, we are in a spending-driven debt crisis. when i open up the newspaper, it's all about the tax component of this fiscal cliff and it absolutely is a tax component. we talk about taxes as it relates to small businesses and creating jobs. we talk about taxes as it relates to individual families and being able to make ends meet. but what this chart shows, mr.
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speaker, is spending and tax revenue of the federal government of the united states of america from 1947 out to 2077. and you can't see the intory indicate detail here, mr. speaker, but what you can see here from far, far away is this green line that represents tax revenue is a relatively flat and constant line. as a general rule it doesn't matter whether tax rate were the 90% marginal rates, the 70% marginal rates that they were when john f. kennedy was president and he cut taxes or whether they were 28 marginal rate during the reagan years. mr. speaker, it turns out -- and this is of no surprise to you -- turns out the american people are pretty smart. and if you raise taxes on this behavior, they switch to this behavior. and if you raise taxes on that behavior, they switch to this behavior. because at the end of the day we are more concerned about
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taking care of our parents, raising our kids, than we are about funding the federal government. so we make changes in our lives to respond to the tax code. so whether taxes are at a top marginal rate of 28% or 90% before the john f. kennedy presidency, america paid the same amount as a percentage of g.d.p. in taxes. this chart shows that. taxes relatively constant going out over that horizon. mr. speaker, spending, this red line here -- now you can see this red line is higher than the green line for the past 50 years. this business of running deficits is not new. we've been running deficits my entire lifetime except a couple of years during the gingrich here in the house and the clinton years in the white house. they've been relatively small. relatively small. i grew up in the reagan years and lots of talk there about all the money we were spending
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on defense and those massive deficits that president reagan was running in order to win the cold war. those deficits are minute sule, minuscule -- minuscule, minuscule compared to the deficits we're running today. mr. speaker, what you see on this chart as we go out from here we are today in 2012 and 2013, what you see is a chart that reflects what happens if you and i do nothing, mr. speaker. if you and i were to close down this house, if president obama were to leave the white house tomorrow and bolt the door, if we passed absolutely no new laws, no new promises, made no new commitments, this red line represents the spending that would happen automatically. this red line represents the spending that happens if we don't change one thing. and what you see then, mr. speaker, is there's just no way. this green line represents taxes. there's no way we can raise taxes high enough to cover this
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amount of spending. if we took everything from everybody, mr. speaker -- hear that. if we had a 100% tax on every dollar you earned, if we took everything you had in your household and sold it all for its value, if we confiscated every asset of every business in america and we sold it at the auction block and we put all that money in a bank account to save for a-run day, we still -- save for a rainy day, we still would not have enough money to pay for the spending that we promised america in this red line. it's a strength problem we have. our -- it's a spending problem we have. our problem is that we tax too little. it's that we spend too much. that's important when we talk about this fiscal cliff, mr. speaker. this is not about a tax issue. this is a spending issue and this is an issue that folks don't have answers to. you and i serve on the budget committee. one of the things i'm most
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proud of in my two short years in this body is we looked at the tough challenges. the ones that my colleague from virginia described as being tough, tough choices, you're cutting spending. someone's going to be unhappy. probably would have to be a combination of both. we look at those things. we did on the budget committee. and we came up with a solution. we didn't just tell america who to blame. we didn't about how hard it was and how lousy that is for america's children and america's grandchildren. we proposed solutions. it's represented on this chart, mr. speaker. what i have is debt as a percent of fwpped. the federal debt. that's about $16.3 trillion. i go all the way back to world war ii here where debt was 100% of g.d.p. historical debt represented by this gray line, mr. speaker. this red line, just a different representation of the spending i showed down there. on that chart i was showing actual spending as a percent of g.d.p. this is a debt as a percent of
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g.d.p. and this green line represents the budget you and i crafted in the budget committee under the leadership of chairman paul ryan. call it about the path to prosperity because for the first time in my lifetime, this congress got serious about making the tough choices necessary to get us out of these record-setting deficits. and that's so important because i get so tired, mr. speaker, as i know you do, too, pointing the finger. it's his fault, it's their fault, this budget is not about blame. this budget is about solutions. that distinguishes us, particularly in this fiscal cliff debate, from the white house and from the senate which continue to talk in broad platitudes but have failed to lay out the difficult, difficult line by line explanation of what their proposal would be to solve
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these problems. we did that in our budget, mr. speaker, and it was hard. there's a reason the united states senate has not passed a budget, mr. speaker, in almost four years, and it's because it's hard. budget is a statement of your values. it's a statement of your values. we confiscate all of this money in tax revenue from the american people and then we redistribute it out to those priorities had a we have -- national security, kids, school lumplings and education. our criminal justice system to make sure families are safe in their homes. we distribute to those things that are important to us. so when you're running trillion-dollar deficits as we're running today and you have to put together a budget, you either have to tell the american people and the children and the grandchildren that you'll continue to run trillion-dollar deficits and bankrupt this nation, or you have to tell the american people, you know what, we got to prioritize and these are my priorities. i tell you something, mr. speaker, it just sdrifes me to
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distraction when i read the media accounts. one of the things that gets lost is when we passed that budget, mr. speaker, when we passed that budget, that budget that passed this house not once but twice, that budget that represents the only budget that's passed anywhere in this town, in fact, the only budget that's received a majority of votes anywhere in this town, when we passed that budget, we said revenue in this country has to rise. it has to, mr. speaker. we go back to this historical chart that i showed you. we're down here in this green dip right here. taxes are at their lowest level in modern times. tax revenues are at their lowest level. tax rates are pretty high, mr. speaker. plenty high. but guess what, if you don't have a job you can't pay any income taxes. it doesn't matter, a 5% income tax rate on you, a 100% income tax rate on you. if you don't have a job you can't pay taxes. that's why tax revenue is so
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low. if companies aren't making profits, companies can't pay taxes. if you can't sell your home, you don't have a capital gain to pay taxes on. if you can't start a business, you don't have income to pay taxes on. that's why tax revenue is so low. mr. speaker, the tax rates are the same rates they've been over the last 10 years. we had a giant spike in tax revenue, mr. speaker. the reason for the decline is because of this recession when folks aren't making money they can't pay taxes. so what did we do in our budget? we crafted an economic growth plan that would bring in -- hear this, mr. speaker. take us from about 14.5% of g.d.p. today it's 16% of g.d.p. we passed a budget that would bring us up over 18% of g.d.p. in tax revenue. that's more than a 10% increase, mr. speaker, over what we're doing today. do we do it by punishing little
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groups of people like the president wants to do? no, of course not. we do it by growing the economy, unleashing the power of the american entrepreneur and allowing folks to pursue their dreams, that's how we bring more revenue into the coffers of the federal government. but hear that said loudly and proudly, the only budget that's passed anywhere in this town was passed in a bipartisan way in this u.s. house of representatives, dominantly passed by republican votes, and it includes a revenue increase of over 10%. so just go ahead and dismiss that nonsense about republicans ignoring the revenue side of this equation. of course there's a revenue side of the equation. my colleague from virginia was right when he mentioned it. it continues to be true, and we've dealt with it responsibly. what about the spending side, mr. speaker? before i take this chart down, i want folks to see that spending side back in their offices, mr. speaker. this green line represents the budget that we passed. this is the path of debt, this
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red line, if we do nothing. this green line is the path of debt if we pass the house-passed budget plan, make it the law of the land. there are opportunities to make this difference. this house in a bipartisan way has stood up to those challenges. i encourage the president and the senate to follow that strong lead. but let's take on the thing that we hear the most often, mr. speaker, and that's the president's committed to taxing raising taxes, exacerbating the tax burden on all of these family-owned businesses that you and i know are the keys to job creation. now, i don't want folks to think that these businesses aren't already paying their fair share. we talk so much about fair share, mr. speaker. i think of fairness of being a society that rewards hard work and merit. i think that's what fairness is.
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it's that opportunity that we all came to america before or our parents or grandparents or great grandparents came to america for. we didn't come here for guaranteed success. we came here for the opportunity to work hard and make our tomorrow better than our today. that's fairness. maintaining that opportunity, ensuring that other generation of americans has that opportunity. i'm going to quote milton friedman, mr. speaker. the country is the poor for not having milton friedman with us any longer. but he said there's a distinct different between raising taxes or the 90% of america votes to raise taxes on themselves to help the bottom 10%, because that's what we do as americans. we're generous, generous people. we care deeply about our neighbors and our communities. it's one thing for the 90% to raise taxes on themselves to help the 10%, but it's an entirely different thing when the 80% raise taxes on the top
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10% to help the bottom 10%. think about that, mr. speaker. how easy is it when we talk about the tough choices that my colleague from virginia just brought up, how tough is it to decide you're going to raise taxes on them to solve the problem? whoever the them is. raise taxes on them. they should pay more to solve the problem. that's pretty easy. the power to tax is the power to destroy and we through this house, mr. speaker, and the power of taxation can choose to destroy any element of american society that we choose. i'd tell you it's our constitutional obligation to protect the minority, than an opportunity society means that the majority does not run rough shod over the minority. the minority is protected from the will of the majority.
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that's always been true in our american tradition. how tough is it to decide that they are going to foot the bill so that we don't have to? those aren't tough choices, mr. speaker. those are easy choices. it's called class warfare and it's going entirely too long here, mr. speaker. who benefits from tax loopholes , you can make choices that either help the economy grow or bring the economy to its knees. this chart, mr. speaker, shows the bottom income earners. there on the end is the top 1%, mr. speaker. who benefits from loopholes in the tax code? i'm flat tax guy. i mean the national retail sales tax. it's call the fair tax that deals with a payroll tax, inequities, on and on, it turns
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our tax code on its head and puts our economy on hyperdrive. it's so popularly co-sponsored tax plan in this united states house of representatives. i hope we're going to get a vote on it next year. mr. speaker, what it does is eliminates all the deductions and exemptions, all the special lobbyist included benefits, all the special benefits whoever is favored by an administration in order ocreate one flat and fair system for the country. now if you make more money of course you pay more in taxes. you have less money you pay less. but the president is committed, and we heard it again today, to raising tax rates on family-owned businesses. . not ensuring they pay more taxes, mind you, important distinction, but raising the tax rates. look here, mr. speaker, if we go through and eliminate all these tax loopholes and the top 1% is
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the crowd that benefits disproportionately from all these tax loopholes, we can still ask the top 1% to contribute more to the funding of our economy that we can do it in an economically responsible way. the tax code asks more of those who benefit from the special deductions, exemptions, and crid its. this chart tells you who those folks are. of course it's true the top 1% benefits the most. they pay all the taxes. they make about 20% of the income and pay 40% of the tax. that's right, mr. speaker. the top 1%, i'm glad we have them because they are footing the bill for the rest of us, the top 1% of income earners are paying 40% of the burden for our entire united states federal government. 1% is is paying 40% of the burden f we eliminate the tax credit and loopholes, those
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folks will pay more. but the president is insisting not on cleaning up the code and making it more economically viable, he just wants to raise rates and punish folks more. let me go, mr. speaker, to president barack obama, august, 2009. he says this in an interview. the last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession. because that would just take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole. president barack obama, august, 2009. he was absolutely right then. those facts hold true today. it's not just those facts hold true over a small period of time, mr. speaker. those facts hold true over a decade. john kennedy's quotes, president john f. kennedy, i just want to take you back, mr. speaker, it's not as if these are new ideas we are talking about. this isn't some rocket science
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problem that's suddenly been thrust upon the united states of america in 2012. these are basic economics. adam smith talked about these years ago. this is in one of john f. kennedy's news conference in 1962 as he was providing the largest tax cut in modern american history he said this, he said it's a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low. that's where we are today, mr. speaker. tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low. it's a paradoxical truth that can be true. he goes on. he says the soundest way to raise revenues, that's exactly what we are trying to do when we talk about balanced approach. we need to cut spending. we need to increase revenue. president kennedy says this, the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to
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cut the rates now. cutting taxes now is not to encourage -- incur budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy which can bring us a budget surplus. that brought to you by raging conservative economist president john f. kennedy. no, he's not a raging conservative economist, mr. speaker. he was a proud liberal of the democratic party but he knew economic truths. economic truths that were as sound then as they are today and that apparently so many in this chamber have forgotten. cutting taxes now is not to encourage budget deficit but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus. i'll go on, it was in his budget message to congress, mr. speaker, again, 1963, john f. ken dirks annual budget message
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to the congress, he says this. lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity, and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased, not reduced, flow of revenues to the federal government. this is not a conservative idea, mr. speaker. this is not a liberal idea. this is not a reagan idea. this is not a clinton idea. this is an economic truth. an economic truth. john f. kennedy, lower rates and taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increase not a reduced flow of re news to the federal government. president barack obama, the last thing you want to do is to raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just take more demand out of the economy and put businesses in a further hole. true.
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it's gotten lost in this election season, mr. speaker. i'll be honest with you, i'm not excited about the way the election turned out. please the american people with a wide, wide margin. return, the republican majority, this the people's house. this the house that is the closest to the american voter? huge republican majority were returned by the american people. i thought when we got past that election, mr. speaker, that politics would be done. i thought when we got past that election we would get on about the serious business of correcting this avalanche of debt that threatens to crush generations of hopes and dreams of americans. extinguish the freedoms that we hold so dear.
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we know what the right answers are. john f. kennedy knew national park 196 and 1963. barack obama knew in 2009. 2010. we still know today, but politics still seems to control. mr. speaker, to make my point about where we are in terms of spending being the problem, again as you and i served here on the floor of the house we have so many folks pointing to different demons that are the problem. so i just went ahead and put all the demons that folks talk about up here on the board. what i have here, mr. speaker, represented by this blue line, it is about 20 years of spacing, gi from 2002 out to 2022. and i look at spending of the federal government. this giant blue line that consumes the entire chart is just base spending. just base, normal everyday federal government spending. which is increasing 33% if we
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don't change it over the next 10 years. hear that. normal spending, not bailouts, not special war taxes, not any of that, basic federal spending is set to increase 33% over the next 10 years if we don't move to change it. this yellow line, mr. speaker, you can barely see it, that's the cost of global war on terror. is that real money? you better believe it. when we clooze to send american men and women around the globe to protect our freedoms, you better believe we give them every single advantage that we can and we take care of them when we return home. absolutely there is a cost to the global war on terror. there is a cost to protecting the homeland. but, mr. speaker, in comparison to all the other spending that's going on, it's minuscule. here's the financial bailout here in green, mr. speaker. you probably can't see those. was that a lot of money? you better believe it. do i think a lot went down a rat
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hole. i do. but that money is out the door now. but as a percent of what's going on here, it's not that. here's the 2009 stimulus bill. that's actually the highest order of magnitude here. that was a lot of money. over $00 billion that went out the door. i would argue the questionable purposes that we cannot measure the success of here years later. but that's not the cause of the problem. the problem is systemic. the problem is baked into the way that we operate our federal government today. it's baked in to the program after program after program that we continue to create even in deficit times. it's baked in with a new promise after new promise after new promise that we continue to make even though we don't know how to afford the ones we have already made. mr. speaker, i just want to go through a few of those accounts
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that have been increasing. what i have here, and folks won't be able to see it back in their offices, i'll read a couple to them, the chart is entitled where the money goes. inflation adjusted dollars to compare apples to apples. it commares 2002 to 2012. i put them in order of how much money we are spending on them today. social security spending for example, 2002, 2012, it's increased 35% over the last 10 years. largest pot of money that we spend in the government. social security checks, folks paid in their entire life, they earned them, they deserve them, it's gone up 35% in the last 10 years. national defense, of course between 2002 and 2012 there's been a lot going on in the world. the world is less safe. we have been involved in two wars. that spend's been going on between 2002 and 2012 in inflation adjusted dollars, spending on national defense has gone up 50%. it's still dramatically below where it was in the 1980's and
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1990's when we were trying to win the cold war. it's dramatically lower than it was when you are fighting the cold war, but it's up 50%. medicare spending, last 10 years, 2002, 2012, it's up 70%. you hear so much talk, mr. speaker, about the medicare trust fund going bankrupt. over the last 10 years medicare spending is up 70%. in inflation adjusted dollars. constant dollars, up 70%. and that climb continues. but in fact, mr. speaker, those numbers are low compared to some other categories. food stamps. 2002 to 2012, up 136%. 136%. we are in some tough economic times. we all know that in tough economic times support program prices cost increase. but 136%. over the last 10 years.
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k through 12 education, mr. speaker. up 144%. energy spending, sadly this is going to include all the solyndras of the world, mr. speaker, all those stimulus dollars that went out to support dubious enterprises, up 1,751%. so when we talk about budget cuts, mr. speaker, this is important, it's always described as we are going to gore someone's ox, we are going to destroy someone's program. energy spending is up 1,700%. what if we reduced it so it was just up 1,600%, mr. speaker? would that destroy president obama's green energy plan? i don't think so. what if food stamps instead of going up 136% just went up 130%
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instead. can you really say that that is an attack on folks who are getting food stamps? or can you say that when the american people increase food nutrition spending by 130%, we are actually making a pretty good faith effort to make sure folks are taken care of? mr. speaker, we see it time and time again. 30%, 40%, 50%, 59%, 46%, 62%. we are not talking about destroying federal government programs. we are talking about curbing double-digit increases that have gone on over the past 10 years. triple digit increases in so many cases. that brings us to this balanced approach we keep hearing about, mr. speaker. i hear the president say balanced approach over an over again. i just have not seen him yet do balanced approach. we saw his proposals, it came out yesterday. he wanted to raise taxes by $1.6
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trillion. he wanted to increase spending on a variety of programs. he thought he could find $400 billion in reduction. not today, of course, but somewhere down the road that we could get together and maybe find $400 billion. bring taxes up $1.6 trillion and then find $400 billion in spending reduction. it's not a tax revenue problem, mr. speaker. it's a spending problem. we've got to focus on this red line. we've got to focus on spending. look at where we are with the sequester for example, mr. speaker. we are talking about balanced approaches. i have defense spending cuts in the sequester, i have nondefense spending cuts and as you know, mr. speaker, about a third of all the dollars we spend in this country we call discretionary spending. half defense, half nondefense. everything else, 2/3 of the pie, is what we call mandatory spending. the 2/3 of the pie over here,
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represents 63.8% of all federal spending. the sequestration is going to ask that big piece of the pie, 53.8% to pair 14% of the cuts. -- bear 14% of the cuts. we are going to ask nondefense discretionary spending, which is about 13% of the pie, to bear 35% of the cuts. . then we're going to ask the defense department which represents 16.8% of all of it to bear 49.5% of all the cuts. now, mr. speaker, i'm not a math major. i didn't study statistics. but i'm pretty sure if we were implementing a balanced approach these lines would be roughly equal. they'd be balanced. but what we have instead, mr. speaker, is a dramatic attack on our national security concerns while the drives piece of the pie, that piece of the
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pie which goes larger and larger each year, it's growing at a faster rate and it undermines the economic security of the nation is asked to do next to nothing. the only proposal in town, the only serious proposal, the only one that's received a majority of the votes to deal with that mandatory spending issue came out of this u.s. house of representatives. came out of our budget committee. passed the floor of the house in a bipartisan way. to deal seriously with those. but as the president asked time and time again, can we have a balanced approach? the yes is, yes, we can. he hasn't been shy at all talking about all the taxes he wants to increase. i haven't seen some of the spending cuts he wants to implement because we don't have a tax problem, we have a spending problem in this country. if you hadn't looked at what the spending problem is, mr. speaker, and i know you have.
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you are on the budget committee. you are one of the finest members on the budget committee. you've taken difficult and tough stands in order to make sure the children of tomorrow have a better future than the children of today, continue to pass on that american dream, but this chart represents the chronic deficits that we have at the federal level. these are actual dollars. the actual dollars. and these numbers come both from the office of management and budget, that's the president's budget team, and the congressional budget office, which is a nonpartisan budget team on capitol hill. what we do is go back to 1970 through the carter years, through the reagan years, the bush years, the clinton years, you see there were systemic deficits through all those years. it was only on the partnership of newt gingrich and bill clinton, and i might also add, some of the most aggressive spending reductions that we've seen in my lifetime, that we were able to create budget surpluses if you include the social security trust fund.
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there was a sleight of hand going on as we look at this chart, not what's going on in the cash flow budget. there was a cash flow for four years. then the tech bubble bursts. 9/11 happens. and we get into these bush years where you see some of the largest deficits in american history during the bush years. response to 9/11, response to the war in iraq and afghanistan , some of the largest budget deficits in american history on our republican president's watch, on a republican congress' watch in response to some tremendous crises but largest deficits in history. frightening deficits. and mr. speaker, those deficits are barely noticeable compared to where we are today. largest budget deficits in american history during the bush years.
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deficits so large they were threatening our economy and president bush began to bring them down during the last four years of his tenure. and they're dwarfed by the size of the deficits created by this u.s. house of representatives under democratic control, the united states senate under democratic control and president barack obama and the white house. mr. speaker, those numbers have combn to come down. you can see here over the last four years, we had $1.5 trillion deficit. in 2009 1.34 trillion, $1.1 in travel twelve. look out over this 10-year horizon. again, these numbers come from the congressional budget office which is a nonpartisan group on clip. this comes from the office of management and budget which is the president's team down at the white house. if we do nothing to curtail spending, the largest deficits
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ever known to this land occur not once, occur not twice, occur not three years in a row but occur forever looking forward through the budget window. the truth is they don't actually occur forever because america would collapse under the weight of that debt. our economy would cease to function. our economy would cease to exist. it never gets solved. not one year, mr. speaker, mott one year -- not one year. we bring them down to almost $600 billion. again, the best year, the next 10, is worse than the worst year in the last 50. hear that. as you look at the proposal of what folks believe is going to happen to the economy over the next 10 years, the best year we have over the next 10 is worse than the worst year we've had over the last 50 when it comes to raising the debt and deficit
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here in the united states of america. continuing talking about the balance, mr. speaker. the president is a smart man, and i have always respected him, mr. speaker, for the fact he's released a budget to the american people, made a proposal in every one of his four years in office. the law requires him to do it but he's always done it. that distinguishes him from the united states senate which the law requires them to do it and they haven't do it. every year the president goes through the difficult work of producing his budget, sharing with the american people his vision for what the federal budget should look like. i happen to have a graphical representation of that vision. this is the one he gave us last. it was february of 2012. there was an election coming up. he wanted to do his very best. this was actually the most serious of all the budgets he's submitted. and what i show here, mr. speaker, with this white dotted line is the deficit -- i'm
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sorry -- the debt that america would have to pay if we changed not one law on the books. if we changed not one law on the books, the debt of america would rise along this white dotted line. this red line that runs right above the white dotted line is the debt that we would accumulate if we passed the president's budget. i'm not misspeaking, mr. speaker. i'm talking about that budget he introduced in february of 2012. i'm talking about that budget that raised taxes by almost $2 trillion on the american people. he raises taxes by $2 trillion on the american people and still ran up higher debt because he spent even more than that. now, give the president hyzdu. he actually only ran -- give the president his due. he actually only ran up to the
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2013, 2014, 2015, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020. by the 10th year of his 10-year budget -- and i blew it up so folks could see it, there is a little bit of a betterment there. we did a little bit better in that final year in terms of trying to bring the debt below what it would have been if we'd done nothing. and all the while the budget raised taxes by $2 trillion and raised spending even more. mr. speaker, that's not balanced. i try to explain that to my constituents back home, the ones who come and say, rob, why can't you all just come together and mr. consensus? why can't you find that middle ground? it's because in my mind, mr. speaker, there's no question but we have to raise revenue through smart tax policy, and we have to cut spending which
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is the driver of our debt. but when my president looks at this very same set of numbers, looks at this very same rising debt across the country, looks at the same economic destruction that this debt is causing across the nation, he raises taxes by $2 trillion and raises spending by even more. mr. speaker, he says balance but the only proposal he's brought the congress in the last 12 months is about as unbalanced as they come. we can, mr. speaker, we can come together in the middle. we can find consensus. as i said earlier, my democratic colleague from virginia accurately identified the challenges. none of them are easy. none of the solutions are easy. but don't be fooled, mr. speaker, into breebing that either, a, this house isn't serious about bringing revenues back to historical norms.
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we passed language to do it. and don't think, two, that the president isn't serious about cutting spending, because we've yet to see one single proposal to suggest that he is. in fact, mr. speaker, in the proposal we rolled out yet -- yesterday, the one budget cutting exercise that we've done, this across the board sequester that's coming, the sequester that's coming as a result of those 12 men and women, six democrats, six republicans, six men, six women, house, senate. the president says to kick that can down the road for another year. mr. speaker, we can't kick the can down the road. is it going to be a challenge to get over this economic hump? you better believe it.
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it hasn't been for the past four years. americans have been challenged for the past four years. this rescission has been debilitating across the board. there's still no easy solutions out on the horizon. but we know this. we know when we raise taxes the economy suffers. we know when we lower taxes the economy grows. i'm looking at the national bureau of economic research report, mr. speaker. they say this. tax changes have very large effects. a tax increase of 1% of g.d.p. lowers real g.d.p. by roughly 2% to 3%. we can raise taxes if we want to. it's going to lower economic output. it's going to harm american families. it's going to diminish job creation. we can do it. that's the debate we're having here on capitol hill. mr. speaker, this chart represents the plan that the president has proposed for
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cutting spending. it's not that the cameras not adjusting to it properly, mr. speaker. it's a giant sheet of blank paper. so too is the president's proposal for tackling the real economic challenge we have here. the real driver of budget deficit, the real economic superiority in this room, out-of-control federal spending. the president of the united states, been president for four years, no credible plan for tackling that spending. i want to go back, mr. speaker. the united states house of representatives in a bipartisan way passed a plan, not just to
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change the trajectory of federal spending, but to actually pay down the debt to zero over time, that shouldn't sound so crazy, mr. speaker. folks have to pay their debts. but we haven't seen that out of this administration in even one of those budgets. not one of those budgets put us on a path to being debt free. in the time i have left, mr. speaker, i just want to do a little math here on the board. i brought my big marker with me. i want you to know i got this free with rebate. we squeeze every penny we can in the office. i think everybody ought to do that. i think you ought to lead by example. but i've been struggling with the idea of fairness, mr. speaker. i brought with me the tax rate chart from the i.r.s. this is the 2012 tax rate chart. if you earn between $35,000 and $85,000, you're in the 25th tax
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bracket. if you earn between $35,000 and $85,000 in america in 2012, you're in the 25% tax bracket. i'm calling that middle class, mr. speaker. depending on how large your family is, tough to make a go of it at $35,000. $85,000 puts you right in the middle. but that ballpark, $30,000, $40,000, $50,000. i think we can call that secure middle-class america. you pay a 5% income tax rate. then payroll tax. your payroll tax is 15.3%, mr. speaker. every wage earner in this land, 15.3% they pay each